The once-proposed site for a new Cloverdale arena as it looks today. The Bill Reid amphitheatre is seen at the right of the image. Crews cleared trees from the site in 2017, but then construction was halted. (Malin Jordan)

Council to look into Cloverdale arena project

Plans could include twinning existing rink

Cloverdale may be getting a new rink.

During the last City of Surrey budget, funding for a new arena in Cloverdale was shelved—officially “postponed” in the words of council—but now councillor Doug Elford is talking arena again.

“We’re going to look into the feasibility of twinning the existing arena,” Elford told the Cloverdale Reporter.

He said there are no immediate plans to build a new arena in the northern area of the Cloverdale Fairgrounds—just east of the Bill Reid Amphitheatre—but that all options are on the table.

That location, next to the amphitheatre, had already undergone site prep in early 2017 when crews chopped down a bunch of trees, but then construction stopped.

“My understanding was the soil conditions weren’t that good,” Elford noted.

But Mike Bola, president of the Cloverdale Community Association (CCA), said soil studies were done on the site prior to the 2017 prep work.

“For him to say that, it’s completely wrong.” Bola said. “When that location was initially picked, soil testing was done under the previous council. They determined it was good to go, but the project cost was raised from $35 to $45 million.”

Bola said that $10 million increase was to cover the costs for the extra site work that would be necessary to prepare the land for the new arena.

“Agriplex is right next door. Has that building sunk? Why is (the soil) even an issue?” he asked.

“We’ll set up a feasibility committee to look at all options, but we have to put staff on it and we’re not there yet,” Elford said. He added that could include a new rink in a different location. He said he was unaware of any geotechnical reports or testing that was done on the north-Fairgrounds site which determined the location could support an arena complex.

Elford voted in favour of the Surrey budget last year that designated the new Cloverdale arena project as postponed. That budget passed 5-4.

Bola said he’s been campaigning since 2014 to get a new arena in Cloverdale because of the dire need.

“I have three kids in hockey. Some of the ice times are far too late or far too early for children to be out on rinks.”

Bola said the cost for one sheet of ice is about $15 million.

“There was federal and provincial money available, but we needed the mayor to take the lead on that, as the mayor must initiate requests. John Aldag was going to do it for us at the federal level. But we fell through the cracks when the new council was elected.”

Elford also noted the lease to the racetrack is coming up for renewal in a few years and that’s something that could throw a wrench into City plans.

“The province may decide to move that track. It hasn’t been discussed, but they have the potential to say ‘okay, we can move harness racing to another location once the lease is up.’ So we need to look at the validity of developing, or doing something of that type, beyond that.”

Elford said he also sits on the Board of Directors of the Cloverdale Rodeo and Exhibition Association and the board likes the idea of twinning the existing arena.

“We are going to look into everything. I know that they’ve done a lot of legwork on this already. So hopefully we’re not reinventing the wheel here. When it was initially put on hold—it wasn’t killed—the idea was to revisit this particular project later.”

Elford acknowledged Cloverdale was in need of facilities. “We have been approached by other user groups as well. There’s always a demand for infrastructure.”

Bola said twinning the old rink would be a waste of money and, if that proposal moves forward, the CCA will oppose it.

“We’re going to fight this. The old arena is in terrible shape. The ice doesn’t freeze well, it doesn’t accommodate the greater sporting community. The rink is past its best-before date and at the end of its useful life.”

Bola noted a new two-sheet arena will benefit all of Surrey, not just Cloverdale. He also said what Cloverdale really needs is new four-sheet arena, but he’d be happy with a new twin-rink.

“The Fairgrounds are in a prime location for sports and entertainment. There is a lot of parking, there are a lot of businesses that would benefit from having a brand new twin rink. We’d just be burning money if we update the old rink.”



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

 

This artist’s drawing of the proposed two-sheet Cloverdale Sport Ice Complex, was to be built on a site south of 64th Avenue and just east of 177B Street before construction was halted. (Photo Submitted)

The current Cloverdale Arena, which Cloverdale Community Association president Mike Bola said has reached the end of its useful life. (City of Surrey / surrey.ca)

Just Posted

Surrey moves to ban sleeping overnight in RVs, motorhomes on city streets

Proposal comes amid complaints about homeless people living in recreational vehicles

$50,000 reward for ‘extremely violent’ South Surrey murder suspect renewed

Offer for information on Brandon Teixeira to remain in effect through April, 2020

Surrey restaurant owner who pointed handgun at staff loses court appeal

Jawahar Singh Padda tried to get his 30-month sentenced reduced

South Surrey man allows smart meter installation ‘under duress’

BC Hydro says devices emit fraction of radio frequency from a cellphone

White Rock senior ‘just sick’ about lost rings

Wedding, engagement bands discovered missing on Oct. 7

ELECTION 2019: It’s so close, it could come down to who turns out to vote

Black Press Media’s polling analyst on the origins of predictive seat modelling in Canada

Zantac, the over-the-counter heartburn drug, pulled in Canada, U.S.

Health Canada also investigates possible carcinogen in some ranitidine drugs

B.C. public safety minister says cannabis edibles not in stores til January

Mike Farnworth says he wants regional issues considered when it comes to licensing

Greta Thunberg calls for climate action in Alberta, but doesn’t talk oilsands

Swedish teen was met with some oil and gas industry supporters who came in a truck convoy

Scheer denies spreading ‘misinformation’ in predicting unannounced Liberal taxes

Conservative leader had claimed that a potential NDP-Liberal coalition could lead to a hike in GST

Council asks to limit cruise ship visits to Victoria harbour

Mayor says motion is not meant to curtail current visits or limit local cruise industry expansion

Chilliwack man pleads guilty in crash that killed pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged under Motor Vehicle Act for accident that killed Kelowna school teacher

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Greens and NDP go head to head on West Coast; Scheer takes fight to Bernier

Trudeau turns focus to key ridings outside Toronto after two days in Quebec

Most Read