CARROT RIVER — Construction is expected to start this summer for a new locker room for the Carrot River Outback Thunder at the Carrot River community centre rink.
The Prairie Junior Hockey League team is paying for the locker room and donating it to the town.
“They are fundraising and building a locker room to add on as an addition to the skating rink, and then that will be a donation to the town,” said Kevin Trew, Carrot River’s administrator.
“They would love to complete by this fall, but they are hoping to have the structure up this fall so they can work on it in the winter. The Thunder may not start using it this hockey season, if there is a hockey season, but the plan is to have at least the shell of it up.”
The Town of Carrot River and the RM of Moose Range remain responsible for upkeep and operating costs of the facility.
The municipalities recently signed a 10 year licensing agreement with the team.
Brennan Hall, the Outback Thunder’s general manager, said the project is important to them since most teams do have their own dressing rooms.
“Our team has never had one, even back when they were the Tri-Town Thunder, they never had one. They transitioned to the Carrot River Outback Thunder and still didn’t have one,” Hall said. “They’ve had guys who have been trying to push this project for numerous years, I’d probably say about five years now.”
To pay for the project, Hall said they will be taking out a bank loan. In addition, a large portion of the work is being done by local contractors who were able to give heavy discounts or donate their services.
“With this whole project we’re hoping it’s going to benefit our community because the team before our new staff came in here a year and a half ago our team was struggling a bit,” Hall said.
“I believe we did a good job in rebuilding the program, and rebuilding the team and bringing us to a spot where people started to believe in us again and people started to get more involved.”
With this new project, he hopes that it will attract more players of higher talents to Carrot River from around the province.
“That, in turn, will put a better product on the ice for us and make the community a lot happier and a lot more involved.”
In acknowledgement of the donation, the Outback Thunder will have a discount on the first three years of renting the room, resulting in it only being $150 a year.
“It’s a nominal amount, but we have to remember the Town of Carrot River and the RM of Moose Range will be paying the operational costs all through this period – heating, insurance, lighting, water, sewer, all of that,” Trew said.