At the end of March 2015, the Brooklyn Arena located at Brooklyn, Hants County, Nova Scotia suffered a structural collapse. The 40 year old steel structure covering the ice surface with the stands being the point of initial collapse. The Newport and District Rink was declared a complete loss. A major addition, which had recently been completed the previous year, which housed new dressing and referee rooms was also damaged beyond repair. The Ice Plant was housed next to that addition. The only part left standing was the old concrete front entrance to the arena. After an engineer’s review, the structure had to be demolished. The concrete floor under the ice also received damage, however it was deemed salvageable. The Board of Directors, though, decided the replacement facility would have NHL size ice.
Members of the Rink Commission and Insurance representatives spent the next couple of months working with recovery and demolition crews to secure the site and ensure the completion of the demolition in a safe manner. During this time all equipment and materials that were able to be salvaged for future use were protected. The most valuable of their recovery efforts was the ice making plant equipment. This equipment was only 4 years old and the damage to it was minimal. It was quickly decided they would restore it to full capacity, as per manufacturer’s recommendations, to provide the ice making capacity of a new arena. The existing Zamboni was also saved and in good working order. Other items salvaged from the facility would be classified as more miscellaneous in nature and would provide minimal value.
Community Value and Need
The rink had been a Community meeting place for the past 40 plus years. From Hantsport to Kennetcook, Mt. Uniacke and beyond, many families have spent many days at the rink as their home away from home. The area of West Hants comprises over 14,000 residents and had been one of the few municipalities to show population growth according to 2006 and 2011 statistics. The GFL Centre located in Brooklyn NS is centrally located within the municipality offering a convenient access point for the majority of its residents. It is situated adjacent to two of the largest schools in the area, Brooklyn Elementary and West Hants Middle School. Tens of thousands of children and adults from the community and beyond will use the GFL Centre its first season.
Regular primary users of the rink include; West Hants Minor Hockey Association, Riverview Figure Skating Club, West Hants Broomball, recreational, old-timers and mid-tier junior hockey teams. The rink also has regular public skates and special events for all age groups. The rink has been rented to capacity for the past number of years. It also draws interest for rentals from the Sackville and Bedford communities on a regular basis.
The rink provides a place for all to embrace a Canadian tradition. It provides for important physical activity which is needed and appreciated by all that frequent it. Beyond the obvious health benefits, the GFL Centre adds to our community by assisting to enhance the local economies in a meaningful way. The large number of people who come into the community from outside for games and tournaments contribute significantly to local economy by purchasing local goods and services. And we THANK them.
GFL Centre will become a vital link for the community. Come out and enjoy a great destination for relaxation and enjoyment for all ages.
Drop in to the GFL Centre today!