Residents encouraged to show support of Windsor arena project

Ashley Thompson
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Greg Kelley, chairperson of the steering committee for the new area, facilitated a public forum hosted to provide locals with a project update.

Locals looking to have a state-of-the-art Birthplace Arena built in Windsor are turning to the community for support.

About 60 people attended a public forum on the topic that was recently hosted in the Fountain Performing Arts Centre at King’s-Edgehill School.

Preliminary designs suggest the $14-million facility will include an Olympic-sized rink iced year-round, 750 seats, a warm room, nine dressing rooms, a community walking track, social hubs featuring hockey heritage artifacts and an impressive training facility.

Talbot Sweetapple, an award-winning architect living in Centre Burlington and a local hockey dad, narrated a slideshow presentation shown at the public form.

“Building a project like this comes only once in a generation. Therefore, we would like to aim high as this will be a representation of our place, people and culture,” said Sweetapple, in the presentation explaining the intent behind the design elements he has planned for the proposed facility.

The arena, plotted out for a parcel of land bordering the King’s-Edgehill School property that overlooks Long Pond, would include such design elements as a covered porch and atrium filled with natural light.

“This atrium will have a hockey shrine ethos,” explained Sweetapple.

Sweetapple sees the upper level of the “global draw” featuring a Long Pond viewing room overlooking the Cradle of Hockey, and a walking track showcasing the pastoral views surrounding the historic area at the root of Windsor’s claim to fame as the Birthplace of Hockey.

“It is this connection to place that will make it a meaningful addition to our region,” he said.

The plan is to raise one third of the funding for the project at the local level, and ask the provincial and federal government to each cover one third of the cost as well.

Joe Seagram, headmaster at KES, said the goal is to construct a highly efficient arena that will bring in enough revenue to take care of the operational costs.

“This is going to be something that will knock your socks off when you see it,” said Seagram.

Building, finance, fundraising and communications committees have been formed to manage the project.

If the funding is secured, and the arena is built, the community-owned facility will be operated by a not-for-profit group similar to the Newport and District Rink Commission.

Windsor Mayor Paul Beazley, a member of the new arena steering committee, said money for site development has been included in the projected cost of the project in anticipation of roadwork that may be required if the arena is built.

“I think we all recognize that College Road would need upgrading,” he said.

Beazley stressed that community backing is key at this stage in the game.

Referring to the All Hands On Deck movement in the Town of Yarmouth that saw hundreds of volunteers doing what they could to prepare their community for the day a ferry would once again be travelling from Yarmouth to Maine, Beazley urged everyone interested in the arena project to find a way to show their support.

“We’ve got to have all sticks on the ice,” he said.



Organizations: Fountain Performing Arts Centre, Newport and District Rink Commission, King's-Edgehill School

Geographic location: Windsor, Long Pond, Centre Burlington Yarmouth Maine King's-Edgehill School Birthplace of Hockey

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Recent comments

  • Andrew
    July 04, 2014 - 23:26

    Contrary to the people discussing this so far, I fully support this project and I fully support West Hants contributing to this in a big way even if it's located in Windsor. You can indeed raise my taxes if you give me better services. People don't have a problem with taxes if the community warrants it. There are more West Hants residents that will use this ice then Windsor residents - so West Hants - we should pay up and lead something of value for a change which adds to the community. Check out Minor Hockey and there are relatively few from Windsor in comparison. Figure skating - the same. I also think there are a lot of advantages to it being at long pond from an interest perspective, the only problem I have is that it's a 1 ice surface so it does not dramatically increase the amount of available ice, but it would allow for summer ice which has some benefits. NHL sized rink? Why would you want that? It does not make a lot of sense from use perspective. With an Olympic sized rink, the ice can be split and used more efficiently for practices as example, it opens up 3v3 leagues right up through to Pee Wee. Think Hockey Schools in the summer and how many west hants kids are going outside of the region right now. - With this we could host hockey schools and even leverage the residence at KES in the summer. Think figure skating tournaments and other community events. I do believe there needs to be away to isolated this from kings edgehill basically having any direct say in the arena because of it's location and they should not get "special" priveleges over other schools/organizations. ie. why should they have a dressing room there where our other teams do not as an example. Kings would use this I suspect to grow there hockey programs but what is wrong with that for the region?? Puts it on par with Newbridge for them so I can see the desire.

  • jl
    June 29, 2014 - 21:48

    ya we sure do not need this !! Kings KES keeps cutting back on staff , the town is cutting back on other things , just look at the pavment around town !!! 14 million ???

  • Eric Stephens
    June 29, 2014 - 01:10

    Why can it not be built up by super eight...easy access from highway 101... Water and sewer all ready roads need to be built?...just sayin...less tax payers money

    • RA
      June 29, 2014 - 19:52

      Your right Eric, it's a no brainer. That's why Windsor will never progress with the people in place who are running the town. Maybe West Hants will build one on the other side of the highway. An NHL size rink.

  • roger beaton
    June 28, 2014 - 10:23

    Beware Windsor/West Hants this is not what our community needs. We need a nice centrally located rink that is NHL sized ice that is clean, safe and fun for the whole community. This project is an attempt for Kings to push there hockey agenda on the unsuspecting citizens of our area. I the past Kings has used millions of public money to build there swimming pool/health complex and we as citizens can't use this service at all well. Kings and the Head mater are going to throw there weight around and force this project in there direction. We don't need or what Olympic sized ice when our hockey world is NHL, nor do we need someone telling us there doing this for our own good.

    • RA
      June 28, 2014 - 15:32

      Your right Roger. People wonder why Windsor is in trouble. With leadership like that, it's pretty easy to see.