Despite plans to open the Clareview arena this year the City of Edmonton has said the facility will stay closed.

The decision was reached after it was determined extra work needed to be done on the building. The City says it needs more time to fix some structural issues before allowing users back in the building.

“Rather than trying to keep the rink open and then shut down some point in the future everyone agreed it was the right decision to close it while we’re under construction and reopen it when we could,” Director of Park and Facility Development, Roger Jevne, explained.

“We’re fortunate that we opened up the Terwilleger Rec Centre with the four sheets of ice there before we took this one out of service.”

However, some local athletes said ice time has been hard to come by.

 “Very few of the teams get practice time at any of the arenas. They have to go outside to rent ice to practice, so it means going to Josephburg or Gibbons or somewhere else,” Maple Leaf Athletic Club’s Laurence Jacobs explained.

Oil Kings AAA owner, Darren Marches, said he has seen program costs increase.

“I think we are paying about 50 or 60 dollars more an hour this year than I was last year,” he said, adding athletes were not getting as much practice as previous years.  

According to the City’s newsletter about the project, the structural issues require a complete removal and rebuilding of the exterior walls of the arena.

They also said shared systems, such as fire and life-safety, heating and cooling and security would not be ready to support an early opening of the arena.

The facility was closed in May of 2012 after council approved plans for a Clareview Community Recreation Centre and Clareview Library. The existing arena building will be enveloped by these new facilities.

The newsletter also indicates the renovations will include a new roof, a multi-purpose tournament room, and more parking, among others.

The entire project has a price tag of $100 million.

The City says it hopes to open all the facilities in 2014.

With files from Jeff Harrington