Energy-saving upgrades to the Robson Valley Recreation Centre in McBride were formally recognized on Monday with a new sign recognizing the Province of British Columbia’s ‘Towns for Tomorrow’ grant of $400,000. The sign was unveiled by Shirley Bond, MLA Prince George-Valemount, Regional District of Fraser-Fort George Alternate

Director Bill Kruisselbrink and McBride Mayor Mike Frazier. The remaining funding of $250,000 for the project came from the Community Works Fund from the Gas Tax.

“We recognize how important it is for small communities to have facilities like the Robson Valley Recreation Centre. Not only does the centre provide recreation opportunities, meeting space and is equipped to host social events, it is energy efficient! I am very pleased to be able to participate in the plaque unveiling today as we formally recognize this successful partnership,” said Shirley Bond, MLA Prince George-Valemount.

The project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by more than 14 tonnes of CO2 annually and result in energy savings of up to 70 per cent. Heat recovered from the arena’s refrigeration system will be used to melt snow for ice resurfacing and to heat the dressing rooms, seating area, arena lobby and the curling rink. In addition, 87 lights were retrofitted with LEDs and low emissivity ceilings were installed in the arena and curling rinks.

“Not only will the Recreation Centre save significantly on their heating and lighting costs but this project also provides more comfort for users,” said Regional District Area H Alternate Director Bill Kruisselbrink.

“I am very pleased with the support from the Province for our Recreation Centre,” said McBride Mayor Mike Frazier. “The facility is well-used and it’s an important hub for residents and community events.”

The 30,000 square foot Recreation Centre offers year round recreational activities including a 500 seat hockey arena, two sheets of curling ice and a 125 seat lounge. The Centre’s fitness facility offers equipment such as steppers and treadmills, recumbent bikes, and free weights. In addition, a movable wall system allows users to play racquet sports and basketball, or use the area for meetings and social events.

Rink surfaces are also used for roller hockey, tennis, indoor soccer, radio-controlled vehicles and social events such as weddings and dances in the summer.