The second phase of renovations and upgrades to the Civic Centre arena is getting underway, including an expansion to the sports museum.
Bill McDonnell of the Nelson Regional Sports Council says starting this month they’ll remove concourse seating on the press box side and install railings, replace windows, do some painting, and improve the women’s washroom.
“The sports museum component we’re getting some assistance from Touchstones on,” he says. “They’re going to promote it.”
As more memorabilia and artifacts are added, they’ll build an enclosed area to accommodate them against the back of the press box.
Two new hockey-related exhibits have already been set up using display cases created for the BC Sports Hall of Fame exhibit in January.
McDonnell envisions having displays at both the Civic Centre and recreation complex next door, although it hasn’t been firmly established what will go where.
“I think what’s going to happen is [the Civic] will become more of a multi-sport [display],” he says. McDonnell has a lead on some old lacrosse sticks and is trying to get some baseball equipment as well.
“We’ll keep adding more sports. I think soccer is interested in starting to display some of their material as well.”
Long-term plans, he says, will depend on what sort of use the Civic rink gets.
The renos also include some electrical work and the addition of track lighting to the museum. At the same time, the city is putting in more energy efficient lights, unrelated to the work the sports council is doing.
Old windows at the back of the building are being replaced with safety glass.
“That means we’ll be able to take the old chicken wire screens out,” McDonnell says.
“I think one of the reasons they were up is because of the baseball field many years ago [where the complex parking lot is now]. We’re hopefully getting some more energy efficiency out of it as well.”
The first phase of the renos involved replacing the old plexiglass around the rink with tempered glass, painting the east wall and concourse walls, removing two rows of seating for a new display area under the sound booth, and installing several cabinets.
The work was completed by a variety of contractors hired by the sports council as well as volunteers, and mostly covered through grants. They expect to accomplish the next phase in the same way.