The arena in Kugaaruk is undergoing $1 million worth of work in two phases. The first phase will begin in the coming weeks with improvements to the heating system, the installation of more efficient lighting and patching up the dressing rooms, senior administrative officer John Ivey said.
When the rink ice is gone for the season, newly-acquired artificial turf will be installed to allow for other indoor recreational activities.
“Kids will be able to play on that all year long until the ice goes back in. It addresses a need. We had to do something because the kids have nothing to do,” Ivey said, noting that the community has been limited in what it can offer recreationally indoors due to the February 2017 fire that destroyed Kugaardjuk School and its gymnasium.
The artificial turf will initially be laid over the gravel floor of the arena but a concrete pad will be laid this summer and infrastructure will be put in place to extend future ice rink seasons, Ivey noted.
The arena is between 30 and 40 years old.
The Department of Community and Government Services is providing funding for the project, Ivey added.