The Township of Armour said at its April 21 council meeting that it supported the Village of Burk’s Falls funding application to refurbish and expand the Armour, Ryerson and Burk’s Falls Memorial Arena.
SO WHAT DOES THAT MEAN FOR THE TRI-TOWNSHIP?
A committee was formed in 2019 between Burk’s Falls, Armour and Ryerson for the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program: Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure stream, but due to the grant receiving so many applications, there was no funding left.
However, according to Burk’s Falls clerk Nicky Kunkel, another round of funding has opened up and the committee is meeting on May 3 to discuss what direction they’d like to go in with this funding.
WHAT WERE SOME OF THE ORIGINAL PLANS FOR THE ARENA PROJECT IN 2019?
“We were looking at changing the locations of where the dressing rooms were,” said Kunkel. “The dressing rooms would come off the side of the building, so whoever was using the ice could (go) directly out onto the ice and not walk through the lobby.”
Another idea was to have the Burk’s Falls, Armour & Ryerson Union Public Library go in the front of the building, and also a community fitness centre.
“ … Just a small community gym and we were going to have an actual gym so we could do recreation programming.”
WHERE ARE CURRENT RECREATION ACTIVITIES DONE AT THE ARENA?
“Currently, we are doing recreational programs in the upstairs of the arena in the Carl Crosier room, but we don’t have the height on the ceiling that we need, so we were looking at building that space — all of this would have gone to the east side of the arena,” said Kunkel.
“Now that the funding is refreshed and there’s a new application process, the committee is going to reconvene and have a new conversation about what our priorities are, what we want to do and then is what we planned still suitable,” she said.
SO, HOW ABOUT THAT COMMUNITY FITNESS CENTRE?
“Under this new grant, I don’t believe we are allowed to have a commercial enterprise, so that would mean a commercial fitness gym, so there will be things we’ll have to think outside the box on how to achieve that,” said Kunkel.
HOW DOES ARMOUR SUPPORT THE PROJECT?
On April 27, the Township of Armour passed a motion supporting in principle the funding application to be submitted by the Village of Burk’s Falls on behalf of the three municipal partners for the retrofit and expansion of the Armour, Ryerson and Burk’s Falls Memorial Arena and approved a contribution of up to $600,000.
Sarah Cooke’s reporting is funded by the Canadian government through its Local Journalism Initiative.
Sarah Cooke, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Parry Sound North Star