With their six month renovation plan now complete, Concordia’s newly appointed director of Athletics and Recreation, Patrick Boivin and associate vice president of facilities management Peter Bolla unveiled the new and improved Ed Meagher arena last Wednesday.
During a tour of the new arena, with both the women and men’s hockey teams in attendance, Boivin and Bolla spoke about the finances needed for the project that saw a new rink surface built. The renovations cost Concordia $7.75 million.
They spoke about the new refrigeration system put in place to make the arena more eco-friendly. With the new ice surface, the rink can now be open 11 months a year, instead of the seven before the renovations, according to the university’s press release.
As well as a new ice surface, the arena also has new boards and a new heating system has been installed, “the burning of natural gas has been replaced by recycled heat generated by the new heating system,” explained the press release.
The arena was also expanded by 2,500 sq. ft, according to the press release. During the tour, they showed the new dressing rooms in the arena, which are now larger due to the expansion. The equipment storage room is also bigger and Concordia has added two new changing rooms for the rugby and soccer teams, while upgrading the hockey changing rooms are also bigger.
The feedback from the athletes was very positive and they were proud to talk about the new features. Both the women and the men’s hockey team were there preparing for practice as the tour was being conducted.
“This is actually my first year and this arena seems very welcoming and it’s a great environment to play hockey,” left-winger Anthony Nobili said.
“I think it’s great and I find it really accessible,” goaltender Carolanne Lavoie-Pilon said. “There’s a lot of space [and] it’s very comfortable and the rooms are awesome.”
Captain Erin Lally echoed both Lavoie-Pilon and Nobili’s comments.
“I am really excited about the new facilities it’s a breath of fresh air and I’m really happy to be a part of it,” she said.
“I really find it a first-class facility and were starting to get settled,” said left-winger Taylor Lambke of the new arena.
Right-winger Charles-Alexandre Plaisir also added that “I didn’t [get] to see the old arena but I feel at home when I’m here it’s a great place, great atmosphere and the ice is wonderful.”
However the excitement of a new arena did come with some challenges. Boivin and Bolla spoke about some of the flaws of the renovations, saying that during the men’s first game, there were issues with the Zamboni door not closing properly. They were quick to point out that every arena at the beginning is not perfect and that things needed to be tested before hand to make sure they were running smoothly.