Minister Joly on hand as funds formally committed to RECC enhancement project

RECC arena enhancement

Minister of Tourism, Official Languages, and La Francophonie Mélanie Joly was on hand in Truro on Tuesday to formally announce funding for an arena enhancement project at the Rath Eastlink Community Centre (RECC).

The project will include the addition of six suites with national broadcasting capabilities, a fully-serviced community room, new storage facilities, and upgraded LED lighting through the building.

Joly pledged $344,984 from the federal government through ACOA's Innovative Communities Fund, while Colchester North MLA and Deputy Premier Karen Casey announced $40,000.

Colchester County Mayor Christine Blair and Truro Deputy Mayor Tom Chisholm each announced $50,000 toward this initiative from their respective municipalities.

The project was originally announced in May at a cost of $689,000, and RECC General Manager Matt Moore told our newsroom they'd be able to contribute $205,000 due to substantial surpluses in recent years.

The work, which began this week, is expected to be completed in October ahead of the upcoming IIHF Women's World Hockey Championship.

During the World Junior A Challenge a portable broadcast booth was constructed, office partitions were used for a media space where the spin bikes are located, and scouts were hosted in the fitness area.

Moore says situations like that have negatively impacted membership as classes are moved to the foyer or are unable to be held, while current classes such as yoga are full and people are having to be turned away. 

He says the suites will be structurally mounted in the high steel above the main upstairs entrance, across the ice from where the current skybox is located, with the multipurpose room above the bathrooms in the corner to the right of that entrance. 

Moore says the arena will continue to operate, though access to the walking track could be impacted a little, and the doors may have to be shifted in order for construction of stairs to access the suites.