Arnprior: Nick Smith Centre to reopen Wednesday afternoon

The Nick Smith Centre in Arnprior is set to reopen Wednesday afternoon following a major brine leak over the weekend.

Director of Recreation for the Town of Arnprior Graeme Ivory says both of the arena’s ice pads will reopen Wednesday at 5:30 p.m.

“It [wasn’t] as aggressive of a replacement project as once thought over the weekend,” Ivory told CTV News.

“Brine leaks are not necessarily uncommon. One of this size I would say is.”

Brine is a non-toxic salt and water solution used to keep ice rinks frozen. The leak was first noticed Saturday during a hockey tournament. It was coming from a pipe that was original to the building’s creation in 1977.

Initial estimates put the reopening of the ice pads at Feb. 1, one day before Ontario Winter Games events were set to start at the arena in Arnprior.

But the leak still caused a scheduling nightmare for local teams and organizations who needed to find open ice time in the middle of the season.

“The regular season games need to be played before the 4th of February, so we’re kind of in a crunch to do that,” said Angie Miller, president of the Arnprior Minor Hockey Association.

Miller says 16 games over a 10-day period in the lead up to Feb. 1 had already been rescheduled at neighbouring rinks, with another four games still needing to find ice time.

“District five goes from Arnprior to Barry’s Bay to Deep River, so any rink between here and there,” said Miller.

Local ringette and hockey teams even resorted to practicing on outdoor rinks where space could be found.

Ivory is now thankful the rest of the season has been saved.

“We [hoped] to be back up and running in a shorter time frame.”

Leave a Comment