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Hall and arena getting major facelift
Most important facility in Sanikiluaq gets much-needed improvements

Myles Dolphin
Northern News Services
Published Saturday, July 20, 2013

Renovations are being made to one of Sanikiluaq's most important facilities this summer.

NNSL photo/graphic

The new cement pad, seen here at the Sanikiluaq arena, will accommodate the community's new ice resurfacing machine this winter. - photo courtesy of Andre Larabie

The community hall, a venue used for everything from court to funerals to feasts, has received new doors, windows and electrical lighting system already.

New bathrooms and benches are planned to be completed before the summer is done, said senior administrative officer Andre Larabie.

"This facility is a used a lot," he said. "There are games every night from 6 to 11 p.m. A day program is set to begin soon and there will be organized games every day starting at 1 p.m."

Sarah Meeko, a Sanikiluaq resident, said the improvements are important because the facility is used for so many events.

"The church here is too small to hold a lot of people so they use the community hall," she said.

"It's the only thing open and most kids have nowhere else to go."

More than $25,000 was spent on new bathrooms and $50,000 for the lighting system, which is now protected by the hard plastic similar to what is used in prisons. Larabie said lights hanging from the lower ceiling were more vulnerable to bouncing balls and damage.

The adjacent arena is also receiving its fair share of renovations and extensions this summer.

A new cement slab was built on the exterior to accommodate a smaller-version ice resurfacing machine purchased by the community last year.

A wall and roof will be added by carpenters later this summer while an overhead door will be big enough to let a regular-sized ice resurfacing machine into the arena, should the community eventually purchase one.

A local contractor was hired for the job, since no new homes were scheduled for construction in the hamlet this year. He hired qualified carpenters from Newfoundland to help out with the work.

The project should be completed by the end of September or early October, since more supplies will be arriving by barge this summer.

The $250,000 arena extension project was funded by Sport Nunavut, with the community footing 20 per cent of the cost.

"It was part of the contribution-agreement that is put out for the community after it identified its infrastructure needs," Larabie said.

New doors and windows have also been put in to increase security measures at the facility. Larabie said it was a much-needed improvement.

"When the doors are broken, there is no panic bar, it's tied up with a chain, people can get in, so now the safety issue is fixed," he said.

This summer the arena will be a busy place with badminton, floor hockey, volleyball and soccer all taking place.

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