Frequently Asked Questions

These questions are the result of the November 10, 2016 Public Design Showcase and the feedback emails we have received since. If you would like to ask a question there is a contact form below.

Why is there only one ice surface?

The Town cannot afford the cost of a twin rink at this time. We are very fortunate to have the support of our neighbors in building the replacement rink we are building. The finalized site design includes space for the addition of a second ice surface once a funding plan can be identified in the future.

The current project is budgeted at $23 million, the addition of a second ice surface would cost a minimum of $10 million more, which would raise the project cost from $23 million to $33 million or more. It is more than we can afford at this current time.

Why happens to the outdoor rink?

The current outdoor ice rink there will also be rebuilt, rehabilitated, and located next to the new facility.

Won’t the running/walking track on the main level conflict with field use?

Not really, while users will have to cross the track to reach the field, operationally this is solved with signage and with the track users keeping their eyes open for other users. While the committee initially considered a raised track, they were able to save $1.5 million in the budget by lowering it to the main floor. The design will feature mesh curtains that will help to keep the track safe from errant balls. Similar to the outdoor setup seen at Glenmary High School where users must cross a running track to access the field.

Additionally, overlapping curtains have been selected that will keep balls in the field house from interfering with the track, this was a direct response to these concerns.

Another example is the Trican Fieldhouse and Happy Trails Track at the County of Grande Prairie Crosslink Sportsplex pictured.
Another example is the Trican Fieldhouse and Happy Trails Track at the County of Grande Prairie Crosslink Sportsplex pictured above.

What about storage for user groups?

In late 2016 as the design was being finalized the Town met repeatedly with user groups, this was a consistent concern that was brought up, in response an additional 189 square metres of warm storage space has been has been worked into the design, without impacting price.

What about the arena sight lines?

We were also concerned about the sight lines, however, during the process, we have looked at a lot of arenas and a lot of potential solutions. One such solution involves the pitch and placement of seats to ensure a better-unobstructed angle. Another part of that solution would be the use glass or transparent material in any railings. Please see diagram below.


Why aren’t there more change rooms?

Following feedback received at the November 10 showcase the Regional Recreation Facilities Committee was able to add in three more change rooms. The main team changeroom is also being expanded to allow space for storage and a desk.

Why is this project even happening?

Three years ago the Town of Peace River began preliminary research into the costs associated with adding a second ice rink to the current Baytex Energy Centre. During that time an engineering study of the current arena found some unexpected and project altering news, it discovered that the foundation was constantly shifting due to under-sized footing. Recommendations received from engineers at the time stated it would need to be replaced within five years.

That report changed project priorities from building a second ice surface, to ensuring that the Town had even one ice surface in the year 2020. For more details on the timeline and when events took place please visit the timeline page.

Why are other municipalities involved in a Town of Peace River project?

In 2014 when it became apparent the current arena would need to be replaced, a quote was compiled for a comparable facility. That quote found that replacing the current arena, would cost approximately $20 million to build. With five years left on the current arena and an expected construction time of two years that meant the Town had only three years to design a replacement facility and to find the money to build it.

Realistically the Town estimated it could only raise or borrow about $10 million. When a quote was compiled for that price the Town discovered it would only afford an undersized practice rink, seating for 100 (maybe 150) and four change rooms.

More simply phrased – by involving our neighbours we were able to get much more than we were able to afford on our own.

They are our partners on this, with their help we are able to build an ice surface to replace the current one on schedule. This partnership is because they understand that their residents use our facilities as well. In the spirit of cooperation they have been invited not only to contribute financially but to help design the facility too. Intermunicipal cooperation at this level is unheard of in this region and it sets an example for what can be achieved as well as a precedent for future collaborations.

What were the findings of the Regional Recreation Needs Assessment?

The assessment is available to download. In addition it identified the recreation gaps in the region beginning on page 64. This project will help to address the top five, which are fitness/wellness, ice arena, walking/running track, indoor child playground, and indoor field facilities. (Read the assessment here)

What is a fieldhouse?

A field house is an indoor field, it allows for year round activities that would normally not be possible in the winter, such as, soccer, badminton, volleyball, rugby, football, basketball, pickleball, dodgeball, martial arts, boxing, wrestling, ultimate, lacrosse, and many more.


Will the current Baytex Energy Centre be operated after the rec centre is built?

No, the cost to operate both buildings is too great and the facility requires closure, as noted above or more than $10 million in repairs and renovations.

Isn’t the Baytex Energy Centre completely financially sustainable operationally?

No, the Baytex Energy Centre operates at just below 50 per cent cost recovery. That means that more than 50 per cent of the annual operating costs are subsidized by other Town revenue sources.

Here are the numbers for the previous three years.

2013 2014 2015
Revenue $  262,845.00  $  287,784.00  $      279,503.00
Expenses $  454,527.00  $  411,956.00  $      420,660.00
Net operating -$ 191,682.00 -$ 124,172.00 -$     141,157.00


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Peace Regional Recreation Centre