People of all ages will have a reason to lace up their skates in Wells.
A 50 by 100-foot outdoor skating rink with a covered roof is anticipated to be completed this fall after a recent donation of logs by West Fraser Timber.
“It gives the opportunity to have a skating rink in the winter because as you know we get up to 27 feet of snow, so when you have a nice big roof over the ice, it helps a lot,” mayor Ed Coleman said with a chuckle.
“Then in the summer we get a fair amount of rain, so it’ll keep it dry if people want to play underneath or get into the shade. So it will be nice for that and overall community events.”
Upgrades to the community’s existing skating rink including a roof, new boards and resurfacing were identified in a Wells-Barkerville Culture And Recreation Centre (WBCRC) Business Plan.
The plan, which was released in September 2020, outlined the current uses of the WBCRC, the required upgrades and renovations needed to meet its year-round demand and opportunities for new revenue streams.
Coleman said there are various partners involved in the project, including Barkerville Gold Mines, owned by Osisko Development, and the provincial and federal governments.
“And then we’ve got local expertise and volunteer contributions,” he said.
West Fraser Timber was approached by the District of Wells and the Wells-Barkerville Community Forest Board last year in efforts of reaching out for partnered support for materials to complete the project, noted chief administrative officer Donna Forseille.
Coleman said the overall project, which has seen some unexpected expenses, is about $600,000.
“This is helpful because construction costs, log costs and wood costs have gone up quite a bit, so this softens the blow, so it’s a very nice contribution,” he added.
The revitalized covered outdoor skating rink will be located at the site of the existing rink by the WBCRC.
Forseille confirmed the current rink, which has not been functional for some time, will be demolished.
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