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$5 Million of Work to Continue at Dryden Arena This Summer

By Ryan Forbes Feb 9, 2023 | 4:18 PM

The city is hoping to wrap-up the arena’s expansion work later this year.

Crews continue to work on expanding the Dryden Memorial Arena.

The arena’s $5 million expansion includes a new community hall space above rink #1, four new accessible change rooms, an elevator, new washrooms with elevator access and a replacement of aging mechanical systems

One of those replacements, a combined heat and power station which will allow the arena to generate its own heat and electricity, is expected to save the city $190,000 annually in energy costs.

“Work continues out front,” says Community Services Manager, Steve Belanger.

“Little bit of a slow-down at this time of the year with the weather, but everything is going as planned and we’ve completed most of the other projects. [We’re] hoping to fire up by August.”

Belanger adds while the arena’s hoping to open in the summer, work will continue afterwards. The city’s hoping to see the four new dressing rooms ready for October when they put the ice in rink #2.

It’s all part of a $5 million renovation project partially funded by both the provincial and federal governments, announced by Minister of Northern Development and Kenora – Rainy River MPP Greg Rickford in 2021.

The city is on the hook for about $1.4 million, but members of the DREAM committee have pledged a contribution of over $300,000. The volunteer group’s been fundraising for arena upgrades since 2016.

Work was originally scheduled for 2023 but was moved up. The pool area has also seen a number of enhancements as well.

The arena was originally built in 1978 and hosts over 25 tournaments and special events each year.

Belanger and his staff recently hosted the Lil’ Bands First Nations youth hockey tournament, and the Big Bands First Nations adult hockey tournament is scheduled with 48 teams for next month.


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