By Adelle Ellis, Times Reporter
Over 100 community members from the Village of Standard and surrounding areas came together in a celebration of community pride for the unveiling of the Standard Arena re-lighting project on Sept. 30.
The Standard and Rosebud arena has been a hub for ice sports and large community events and gatherings for over 45 years.
This year, the Standard & District Ag Society replaced all the old incandescent and fluorescent lights inside of the arena, lobby area, kitchen and dressing rooms with LED lights.
The much-needed project was made possible through the support of the Canada 150 federal government grant as well as through CRISP funding provided by the County of Wheatland.
“The kids running up and down here, that’s what these buildings are about,” said Member of Parliament for the Bow River Constituency, Martin Shields, who was present at the open house. “They’re about our kids and our communities and so to work with the Canada 150 program to get a grant to do what you can with lighting and building a more modern place, it adds to the life and quality in the rural setting and I think it’s important to maintain that quality of life.”
Most of the lights in the arena are now controlled by infrared and motion sensors which eliminates unnecessary usage which will lead to lower electrical costs. The lights and their intensity can also be controlled individually through a smart phone which will be useful for figure skating events and the annual CanSkate carnival.
By using LED lights in the arena, the overall brightness was increased by 50 per cent which will be a benefit in all sports. Total power requirements are expected to be reduced by 40 per cent which will lower electric costs and make the arena more environmentally efficient.
“It always makes you feel great that you give money, no strings attached, and the community gets together and helps each other out and (makes a project) open for everybody. The rural communities never seem to disappoint with all they pull together,” said Alice Booth, Wheatland County councillor for Division 1.
Also unveiled were 22 more LED lights put up outside the indoor arena which will eventually light a future outdoor arena.
The project has not been constructed yet but is scheduled to be started in 2018. Village of Standard Mayor Alan Larsen told Ag society representatives that the Village of Standard would like to be a part of the project that would see an open outdoor arena that can be utilized in the summer and winter up until 11 p.m. every day.
The third project on display was the new Olympia ice conditioner. The Village of Standard donated some of their CRISP money to the Ag society to help purchase the new Zamboni to keep the ice surface clean and well maintained.
After the formal presentations and speeches, children took the opportunity to run around the empty arena playing games with their friends after enjoying a free dinner.
Local country artist Drew Gregory was on hand playing his guitar and singing songs to the eager crowd.
In a true community spirit, everyone came together to celebrate and enjoy all the hard work that rural volunteers have done to create a more usable and efficient recreational environment.
“You have to leave a legacy for the kids,” said Booth. “This (building) will be a legacy for years to come.”