G.R. Pearkes Gold Arena ice slab replacement project launches in 2020

December 20, 2019

News release

For immediate release


G.R. Pearkes Gold Arena ice slab replacement project launches in 2020

Saanich, BC – The District of Saanich will begin the replacement of the Gold Arena ice slab and ice melt pit at G.R. Pearkes Recreation Centre in April 2020. A replacement of the 52 year old slab will ensure many more years of ice programs and services for the community.

Saanich will remove the ice in early April to allow for permafrost under the slab to thaw before construction. Construction is anticipated to begin in early fall 2020 with a goal to reopen the arena by fall 2021. The Green Arena and the rest of the Pearkes facilities and services will remain open during construction.

“We’re thrilled to have a plan and funding ready for this replacement,” said G.R. Pearkes Recreation Centre Manager Graham Thomson. “We understand the significant impact the Gold Arenaclosure will have on our user groups. Our preference, with our users groups’ best interests in mind, is to have a planned closure rather than a forced closure due to an unexpected slab failure.”

As outlined in the Strategic Facilities Master Plan, the Gold Arena slab is well beyond its life expectancy and in need of replacement. A planned closure will decrease the risk of compromising the recreation centre’s foundation. If the centre’s foundation is damaged unexpectedly due to a failure of the slab, the replacement costs could increase significantly and the entire facility would experience an extended closure.

A planned closure allows the public and users groups to better prepare for alternate ice arrangements. Saanich Recreation staff are working with user groups and other arenas in the region on solutions to help accommodate their ice needs.

The approximate cost of the Gold Arena ice slab and ice melt pit replacement is $2.6 million. The project also includes replacement of the elevator, dasher boards and glass, arena netting, and the flooring around the boards. Facility Operations staff in Saanich’s Engineering Department will manage the replacement project.

The recent recreation market analysis included a review of Saanich’s ice spaces and found there is an unmet demand for ice within in the region. Council will review a request for funds to complete a feasibility study for a third sheet of ice in Saanich as part of the upcoming 2020 budget deliberations.

More information will be available on Saanich.ca as the project progresses in 2020.


Media contact:
Graham Thomson
Manager, G.R. Pearkes Recreation Centre