Prescott, Ont., arena project receives new funding, new name

WATCH: Prescott's new arena project gets new funding as well as a new name.

There’s a lot happening when it comes to the new arena project in Prescott.

First, the town is getting funding from both the federal as well as provincial governments; second, the yet-to-be-built arena already has a new name.

Prescott Mayor Brett Todd says in a matter of weeks, construction activity will begin on the property located at the corner of Churchill Road and Sophia Street. The facility is a step closer to reality after the federal and provincial governments invested almost $10 million into the project.

Read more:
‘Very sad day for us’: Ammonia leak forces closure of Prescott’s only arena (Aug. 23, 2018)

“It was mostly a provincially-driven process, locally. Infrastructure Ontario actually approves it and then it goes up to the federal government,” he said.

“(It’s) more direct, hands-on with the province but very grateful to the federal government because it’s their infrastructure program at the end of the day, in conjunction with the province, and I couldn’t be happier to be working with both levels of government.”

Gauri Shankar is a Prescott town councillor and also a member of the project’s fundraising committee.

“We did a lot of studies once we lost  our rink three years ago,” Shankar said. “We saw how many kids in the area use the rink for hockey, for figure skating … there’s a huge need.”

The new arena, the cornerstone of the recreational hub, will replace the Leo Boivin Community Centre in the downtown area. That arena closed in August of 2018 after a leak was discovered in the ice-making system.

The new arena and community centre will be named after Alaine Chartrand. Todd says the two-time Canadian national figure skating champion’s grandparents bought the name rights for $500,000.

Read more:
Fundraising for proposed new Prescott, Ont. recreational complex hits $2M mark (Jan. 7, 2020)

“It’s a wonderful made-in-Prescott story,” Todd said. “The community really supported her when she was on her run to those national championships, building that great career. And now the Chartrand family has come forward to honour a daughter, a granddaughter and figure-skating icon.

“It’s something that’s just tremendous for the whole community. It’s just a great story overall.”

Shaker says the town has not forgotten about the Leo Biovin name and the story of the former NHLer will carry on.

“There’ll be a tribute to him in the main lobby. You’re going to see a welcome to Leo brick that the public can purchase but he will not be forgotten, that’s for sure.”

Todd says they’re hoping the nearly $15 million arena project will be complete by late 2022 or early 2023.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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