The Huntsville Curling Club is breathing a little easier after some much needed renovations.
The province gave the club a $150,000 grant in 2019 through the Ontario Trillium Foundation for sustainability upgrades.The renovations include new rink heaters, thermal glass for viewing windows, and HVAC improvements for better heating, cooling, and ventilation.
According to Beth Goodhew, Club President, the building’s ventilation system is now “almost hospital grade,” which should help with COVID-19 safety.
Goodhew says the upgrades take some of the pressure off.
“It’s exciting to see the club looking and being refreshed; the building was getting old and all of our equipment was old, and it’s nice not to have to worry about what’s going to break next,” Goodhew says. “So there’s a lot less to worry about as we manage the club and the day-to-day activities of our curlers.”
Alongside the provincially-funded renovations, the club’s lounge, bar, and office also got a facelift from volunteers, something Goodhew estimates to have saved the club roughly $100,000.
With sustainability improvements done, Goodhew says the club’s next priority is to make its building more accessible for people with disabilities.
“A young man [who was in a wheelchair] curled with us for several years, and he was able to do that with the assistance of his dad, who [brought] the wheelchair and him out onto the ice, and he was able to curl with his peers,” says Goodhew. “We really would love to have a facility that would allow him to independently move around the building.”
In 2019, club officials estimated that $1-million would be needed to do necessary repairs and upgrades. Although a good portion of that money has been sourced, Goodhew estimates the club would need roughly $250,000 more to make the building accessible. She says the club is currently fundraising for the project, and that a gift basket raffle is in the works, with details likely released within the next week.