After months of waiting, the Claude Parish Memorial Arena opened to ice users Dec. 6.
That evening featured a game between the local Midget team and the one from Smithers.
A delay in installing a new refrigeration plant brought on the delay, causing users to either travel to other locations or adapt training and other programs.
The opening was not without its challenges however as although the arena was open Saturday, Dec. 7, it was closed again the next day, Sunday, Dec. 8.
“We closed the arena after staff spent the early evening fixing edges following heavy usage all weekend,” said District of Houston chief administrative officer Gerald Pinchbeck.
“The ice edges have to be a certain depth or else the ice will break apart at the edge and create a safety hazard for users,” he said.
That closure was just for the Sunday, Dec. 8, meaning the closure affected one free public skating time and one adult drop-in hockey time.
In recognition of the refrigeration plant installation delay, and resulting hardship on user groups, the District of Houston has reduce usage fees by nearly a third for some groups.
The 33 per cent discount is effective immediately until the end of the season and applies to “minor ice users,” indicates a District staff report.