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End of an era as Sault arena being torn down


Once viewed as the Sault’s premier ice sheet for minor hockey and figure skating, the W.J. McMeeken Arena is being torn down.

The McMeeken, opened in 1967, had come to the end of its lifespan. It will now serve the parking needs of the new arena on the same property, a $32 million twin pad arena announced earlier this month.

“We’re looking at adding about another 240 spaces," said Brent Lamming, the city's community services director.

"That will bring us to 328 spaces. Of that, we’ll have another 16 accessible spaces to bring us to 20 there. It’ll really mimic the John Rhodes in terms of parking, so there will be ample parking.”

The demolition and cleanup of the McMeeken will take roughly three weeks at a cost of more than $1 million.

After that, the focus turns to the construction of those additional parking spaces.

The job is expected to be complete by summer.

Users of the new facility and neighbouring Northern Community Centre were delighted to hear the news.

“The complex has grown, but the parking facility hasn’t, and it never really was big enough,” one person said.

Another regular said the new parking lot can't come soon enough.

“It’s needed right now. I was here Monday evening and I had to go park over at Korah, so it is needed.”

It's not the only work that will be done on the site this spring: the twin pad arena had some issues upon opening.

Leaks sprung up in the main rink that forced the cancellation of one rental and a public skating session.

Lamming said officials believed the problem is related to a seam on the roof.

“We are addressing that with EllisDon,” he said.

“They are monitoring the situation, and once the snow is removed from the spring melt, they will be putting in major repairs to the area, which is covered under the warranty.”

The leak is not currently causing issues in the rink. City officials expect it to be taken care of by summer. Top Stories

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