Town opens new sta­dium

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY NI­CHOLAS MERCER nmercer@cb­n­com­pass.ca

The Dan Cleary Har­bour Grace Com­mu­nity Cen­tre opened to the public Fri­day evening, with coun­cil mem­bers join­ing res­i­dents to take in the new mul­ti­mil­lion-dol­lar fa­cil­ity. The ice is freshly laid, and now all that’s left is for the hun­dreds of lo­cal hockey play­ers to test out the arena and break-in the dress­ing rooms.

Har­bour Grace Mayor Terry Barnes walked with a bit of pep in his step Fri­day night.

His eyes were beam­ing and he had a smile on his face a mile wide. And, with good rea­son. The Town of Har­bour Grace held an open house for the public at its new sta­dium, the Dan Cleary Har­bour Grace Com­mu­nity Cen­tre. Over a hun­dred peo­ple from the lo­cal area from Up­per Is­land Cove to Vic­to­ria came out to take a look at the arena and ev­ery­thing it has to of­fer.

What they got was an eye­ful. They saw the cav­ernous dress­ing rooms, the large ice sur­face, spa­cious bleach­ers, walk­ing track and the gym.

For over an hour, they mar­veled over how ev­ery­thing looked and where they were go­ing to be watch­ing hockey this sea­son. The of­fi­cial open­ing for the some $20-mil­lion fa­cil­ity at the top of Jamie’s Way is ex­pected to be early next month.

“There’s been a big turnout here,” said Barnes. “When I came up and seen the amount of peo­ple here, I was floored.

“Ev­ery­one is so happy with the fa­cil­ity.”

The in-house en­ter­tain­ment for the evening was pro­vided by the HGOE CeeBee Stars. They kicked off train­ing camp for their sec­ond sea­son since re­turn­ing to the Avalon East Se­nior Hockey League last year.

Mi­nor hockey kicked off its sea­son as well with a full slate of prac­tices on Satur­day.

The sights and sounds were the same, but the sur­round­ings were much dif­fer­ent. Pucks clanged off new boards and glass, while skaters were put through their paces on the pro­fes­sional-sized ice sur­face.

Some recre­ational hockey play­ers even ques­tioned whether they’d be able to skate the full length of the rink.

“I’m just so happy, “Barnes said mar­vel­ling at the arena. “I don’t know what to say. It’s an hon­our and you’re ex­cited to walk through.”

NI­CHOLAS MERCER/TC ME­DIA NI­CHOLAS MERCER/TC ME­DIA

The HGOE CeeBee Stars kicked things off at the new sta­dium with their first prac­tice of train­ing camp. Long­time rink at­ten­dant Chris Hearn watches the prac­tice on the ice be­low him.

NI­CHOLAS MERCER/TC ME­DIA

There are two ob­ser­va­tion decks that of­fer a prime view­ing spot for any­thing go­ing on at ice level.

NI­CHOLAS MERCER/TC ME­DIA

The walk­ing track is sure to be a big hit with many res­i­dents.

NI­CHOLAS MERCER/TC ME­DIA

Sta­dium man­ager Mike Adam (left) and CeeBees mi­nor pres­i­dent Dean Whe­lan take a look at one of the huge dress­ing rooms.

NI­CHOLAS MERCER/TC ME­DIA

CeeBees mi­nor hockey ex­ec­u­tive mem­ber David Os­borne guides a group of peo­ple through the sta­dium.

NI­CHOLAS MERCER/TC ME­DIA

What’s an open­ing with­out some cake cut­ting. Shown here are, from left, Mayor Terry Barnes, Lau­ryn Hunt, Ser­ena Squires, Mag­gie Shute, Kait­lyn Pike and Madi­son Shute.

NI­CHOLAS MERCER/TC ME­DIA

The gym is a wel­comed ad­di­tion to the arena.

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