The heartbeat of the community of Ituna is looking to get some much needed upgrades.
The Ituna Community Arena Cooperative have kicked off a $3.8 million fundraising campaign to cover the costs to the rink including a new roof structure, new dressing rooms, mechanical rooms and renovated bathrooms.
There will be two phases of the project according to Chairperson of the Rink Building Committee Jack Shymko. He says the project will be completed in two phases. He says that they will begin phase one after the hockey season in March of 2022 with the removal of the old wooden structure and replacing it with a new steel structure. Phase two of the project will be the renovation of the washrooms, the addition of four new dressing rooms, referee room, Zamboni room and mechanical room. Shymko is hopeful that work will be done throughout the summer of 2022 so that the arena will be ready to go for the 2022-23 season.
The fundraising for the upgrades got a kickstart back in 2017 when Ituna was a finalist in the Kraft Hockeyville Competition and was awarded $100,000 in arena upgrades. Since that time Shymko says the committee have been able to fundraise nearly $600,000 through a variety of events including the sale of farm land, ladies nights out, online auctions and local hockey tournaments. The town of Ituna has approved a commitment of $1 million to the upgrades. Shymko added that they have asked for various infrastructure grants but they haven’t received a response back at this time.
Besides the hockey teams that play their games in the arena, Shymko noted that the Ituna arena is used for other events including practices for the football team as well dressing rooms for game days, auction sales, figure skating and the high school also uses it for some of their physical education classes.
More information of the arena in Ituna can be found at the website http://www.itunaarena.com