You can get your first look at the new Pason Centennial Arena expansion next Wednesday, January 31.

The $15 million facility, with its two new ice surfaces, multi-purpose rooms and art displays, is set to open on-schedule starting at 4 p.m. that day.

Town of Okotoks Recreation Facilities Manager, Doug Robson, says they'll be doing some staff training on systems and some final safety checks before the facility opens to the public.

"A couple of our guys will go on with skates, just to give it a little bit of a work over," he says. "We need to check all the board systems, so we'll be going through every board, making sure that it's secure, making sure all the glass is secure and that type of stuff."

Robson says the ice is already in place in the NHL-sized rink, which is 200 feet by 85 feet in size with seating for 300 people.

The ice has also been made for the leisure rink, which will be open for free-of-charge public skating on a drop-in basis.

The last focus for construction on the leisure rink will be to build the mantle on the fireplace and install the seating.

Robson points out that they're planning a couple of stages to the opening.

"The first month, we're going to operate with just the leisure sheet open and the NHL sheet open," Robson says. "We are not going to have bookings in the three multi-purpose rooms. And the reason we're going to do that is we're going to bring it online, get our team trained so they can deal with just those two sheets of ice and then at the end of that next month we'll open up the multi-purpose rooms."

The grand opening of the Pason Centennial Arena expansion is set for Saturday, March 3, in conjunction with Okotoks Minor Hockey Association's Timbits Tournament.

"Our team is really, really pumped and pretty excited about this," Robson says. "It's a wonderful addition for the Town of Okotoks."


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