Arena upgrade in the works

The Regional District of East Kootenay will spend up to $200,000 this year on safety improvements for the Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena.

The Regional District of East Kootenay will spend up to $200,000 this year on safety improvements for the Eddie Mountain Memorial Arena.

The building’s mechanical room will be upgraded to a one-hour fire rating, and a separate emergency exit will be constructed on the arena’s second floor.

According to a staff report for the board, if the arena doesn’t have the one-hour rating the BC Safety Authority could shut down the facility which “would have far reaching consequences for the residents of the Columbia Valley.”

Without the rating, the building also requires round-the-clock supervision when the ice is in — once the upgrade is completed and the facility passes an inspection, it can go back to manning the building normally.

A second floor emergency exit, meanwhile, would give people a way out of the building in case of an ammonia leak.

Both upgrades will take place after the ice has come out of the arena for the season, and would be completed before summer hockey school begins in July.