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C2 celebrates upgrades at community recreation centre

The Bonnyville and District Centennial Centre’s Board of Directors was excited to announce big changes for the community facility, from the unveiling of the new digital scoreboard in the RJ Lalonde Arena to renaming of the Agriplex to the GenMec ACL Hall.

BONNYVILLE – Over the last year, construction crews from local company GenMec ACL Inc. have been renovating the Bonnyville and District Centennial Centre’s (C2) Agriplex. 

As of Nov. 7, the upgraded facility will be called the GenMec ACL Hall following a successful five-year naming sponsorship agreement between the C2 and the construction company. 

Over the next five years, GenMec ACL will provide financial contributions to the community rec centre to offset facility costs. The amount of this sponsorship agreement is not being made public as a result of confidentiality, according to Kevin Roth, the sales and marketing coordinator for the C2.

Earlier this year, Graham Construction signed a similar sponsorship agreement with the C2, which saw the renaming of the facility's field house for the next five years in exchange of a $70,000 contribution to the community centre.

“[Company] sponsorships really helps us offset a little bit of costs and it also provides free exposure for the companies that are sponsoring. It shows that they're part of the community,” said Byron Johnson, chair of the C2’s board of directors. 

“This is a facility that is used by residents of the Town and MD [of Bonnyville], it brings people in from all across Alberta for hockey tournaments and other events.” 

Although a few finishing touches remain before the GenMec ACL Hall can open to the public, the C2’s board of directors and senior management from GenMec ACL gathered on Nov. 7, to mark the beginning of the five-year agreement. 

“The one snag that we have run into has to do with the fire alarm system,” explained Johnson.  

Crews have been waiting for fire alarm equipment to arrive that has been delayed due to supply chain challenges. 

“With these types of shortages of products, it’s tough to put a firm date on the completion because it's just one of those unknowns unfortunately, but I know that GenMec ACL has worked really hard to try and get that in and get it rectified so we can get the final inspection and then get it open,” said Johnson. 

Once the hall is brought up to code and is inspected, it will be opened to the public for bookings. 

“We are really excited that it is just about done and we're very excited to show it off in the community,” he added. 

RJ Lalonde Arena scores new video board 

Another new addition to the C2 has Bonnyville Jr. A Pontiacs’ fans looking up to watch game highlights. 

A new digital scoreboard installed above the RJ Lalonde Arena was unveiled officially on Nov. 7. 

“The opportunity presented itself to partner with the (Bonnyville Jr. A) Pontiacs, where they provided one-third of the price of the clock, we provided one-third of the price, and there was a grant for one-third,” said Johnson. 

The new video scoreboard, totalling $296,000, will benefit both organizations. It represents a significant upgrade to the facility, and it enhances the Pontiacs’ games by allowing for video replay and additional advertising opportunities for the junior hockey organization.  

The new technology can also offer the C2 an advantage when it comes to booking bigger events like bonspiels or larger sporting events in the region, added Johnson. 

C2 returns to hot water for ice-making 

Ice makers at the C2 have reverted to using hot water for creating ice on the facility’s arenas after a newly installed REALice device was not resulting in suitable skating surfaces. 

The REALice valve was installed at the end of July as a means to reduce the C2’s energy consumption. However, the valve has since been taken offline after the quality of the ice was deemed inadequate by those renting the facility. 

The cause has been attributed to the pressure of the water entering the REALice valve. 

“We are installing an auxiliary pump to provide even and steady pressure, because it has to be over 60 PSI for the centrifuge device to work properly,” explained Johnson. 

Once the pump is sourced and installed, it is the intention of the facility to switch back to the REALice device. 

“Unfortunately, it was just one of those little hiccups that come up along the way that were not anticipated.” 



Jazmin Tremblay

About the Author: Jazmin Tremblay

Jazmin completed a minor in journalism at Hanze University in the Netherlands and completed her Communication Studies degree from MacEwan University with a major in journalism.
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