UNITY - Once the large bat colony issue was resolved earlier this year, the Unity Community Centre arena has been a flurry of activity, and a good portion of the focus for the Unity Parks and Recreation team.
Nicole Headrick, director of Culture, Parks and Recreation for Unity says, “We have been busy with the arena renovation and things are starting to come together nicely. We expect in the next week or so to be completely wrapped up on the interior work.”
Residents and rink users will get to see the lobby upgrades at the community centre, which include a new entrance, new sliding doors and a full renovation to the booth and the washrooms. As well, rink users will notice all new flooring and fresh paint.
The exterior upgrade includes metal siding, facia, soffit and gutters, with work still underway. The TPO roof is complete and has already been successful in withstanding some nasty storms this summer.
“It definitely looks like a brand-new building and now that we have some colour, things are really looking fantastic. We are very happy with our design choices and happy that our community centre will be thriving for many more years,” says Headrick.
The structural review that was completed predicted the arena upgrade would extend the life of the building by another 20 years.
People have been asking about COVID-19 protocols and, as of yet, the government has not provided any updates to the current allowances in place. Arena users are hopeful the current rise in cases will not affect their season.
“People are missing the thrill of a hockey game, the chaos in the lobby, the mess after an event," Headrick says, "For our staff, it was very strange not having many parents or fans in the stands, with the arena being empty day after day, something everyone is hoping is in the past. Whatever guidelines are announced, we will continue to remain vigilant to keep our participants, our spectators, our staff and our community safe and healthy.”
Headrick also commends Unity Minor Ball for hosting a successful season that included three big tournaments, two of them being provincial events. Ball fans and residents were elated to have ball back in the picture this past summer.
“Unity Credit Union Aquatic Centre pool season was incredibly successful with 89 consecutive days open and a full summer of swimming lessons. Our team at the pool was amazing and we had so many compliments about our lifeguards, which is fantastic. We are very proud of our head lifeguard, Lauren, and our pool staff and hopeful they all return in summer 2022.”
Headrick also maintains the community is fortunate in the knowledgeable and hard-working team in the Parks and Recreation Department and says they probably don’t get all the credit they deserve.
“Dale, Kevin, Spencer and Russ have persevered through the renovations.They are always on the ball with everything, making sure everything is fully functioning in every aspect. There do so much behind the scenes that sometimes is overlooked, but without them we would never be able to run so efficiently. Additionally, our summer students were also amazing this year, taking on all jobs with a smile while going above and beyond,” says Headrick.
Headrick adds that the new cemetery map sign has been installed and edging work will be completed sometime the week of Sept. 13. It is hoped residents will go take a look at the oustanding work by Unity’s Masterhand Signs.
“This community is very fortunate to have donors who helped pay for this new signage at our cemetery. We also have to be grateful for Butch Boskill along with Pat and Ruth Welter for their endless commitment to see this project through to completion,” says Headrick
“The hours that they have invested into making this sign come to fruition has been unbelievable. Without Butch coming to me to encourage us to do this fundraiser, I would have never believed we could. Without people like Tammy Lauinger at Hollyhocks Greenhouse, who planned and donated two fundraisers, it would have never been possible so soon."
3-on-3 hockey will be the first action on the ice to kick off the rink season. Continue to check the town of Unity website, the Unity Recreation Arena Facebook page and information in the local paper regarding upcoming rink season.