Barry Morris (in red) and Dave Eno compete in a recent men's league match at the Chilliwack Curling Club.

Barry Morris (in red) and Dave Eno compete in a recent men's league match at the Chilliwack Curling Club.

Curling club looks to the future

The Chilliwack Curling Club is getting a new building that should be full of cutting-edge features.

Though we’re still aways away from shovels breaking ground, Bruce Renwick knows for sure the Chilliwack Curling Club is getting a new building.

Which means now is the perfect time to start dreaming.

What will it look like and what cutting-edge features will it have?

The answer to these any many other questions may come to Renwick as he tours other buildings in BC. The CCC manager will do that with a City of Chilliwack contingent that includes Gord Pederson (director of recreation and culture) and Ryan Mulligan (manager of civic facilities).

“We’re going to look at Port Coquitlam because they’ve just done a renovation there,” Renwick suggested.

He will view the Port Coquitlam building through the ‘what-not-to-do’ lense.

“There’s a number of things in there that I don’t like that wouldn’t be conducive to maintaining the homey curling club atmosphere that we have,” he said. “We’ll also be touring the Richmond Curling Club, and that’s one I like. They’ve got a lot of nice features that I’d like to see incorporated in ours.”

Renwick will have a look at the brand new Vancouver Curling Club and he’s in contact with Fort Nelson, where a new rink was built recently.

Meanwhile, the City is in the process of hiring a consultant, and that’s likely to be Art Sutherland of Accent Refrigeration.

“He’s on the Island, he’s cutting edge and he’s designed buildings all around the world,” Renwick said.

Cutting edge where curling facilities are concerned means going green with energy transfer, capture and re-use.

The new building may even use geothermal.

“The new chillers are about half the size of what we’ve got now in our compressor room,” Renwick noted. “The new ones are just tiny and they capture all the heat, and use it to heat the building and the water in the building.”

“You drive by hockey rinks and you see all that steam going up into the sky? New buildings re-capture all of that and he’s actually done a project where the excess heat from a pool/hockey rink is used to heat 350 homes.”

The CCC’s current building opened in 1952 and has steadily become more expensive to operate.

“The biggest drawback is our walls are right up against the ice and they’re un-insulated,” he said. “We’ve also got an un-insulated huge attic space up there, so our heating and refrigeration costs go up.”

The CCC’s six rinks currently rest on a sand floor, which renders the space unusable in the offseason. The new building will be used year-round with floors suitable for a multi-purpose facility.

Still, there’s no denying the old building has certain charms as well. It’s hard to find a cozier place to play, and hang out when you’re done playing.

A bigger banquet facility would be nice for weddings and stuff like that, but otherwise we’ve got it set up pretty well,” Renwick said. “It has that homey feel to it. We have great viewing and lots of space for people to grab a coffee and watch games.”

The banquet facility currently sits 150 and Renwick’s requesting space for 300.

“This is still a social bumping place where people come to congregate,” he said. “I’ve been around here 42 years and seen the transition where so many generations are congregating under this one roof.”

“We want to bring all the old trophies and pictures to the new building and continue making it a place where people of all ages want to come and socialize.”

“The curling itself is almost secondary to getting together every week with your friends.”

Renwick doesn’t expect a new building to open until the spring of 2019.

He doesn’t expect the CCC to move in until later that year, but he’s excited.

“A lot of the older members are humming and hawing and asking why we need a new building,” Renwick observed. “Well I write the cheques and we need a new building. It’s been getting less and less economical to run, and the last thing we want to do is go to City Council with our hands out.”

“We want to continue to be autonomous and run this for the City at no cost to the taxpayers.”

 

– The CCC will host the Canadian Police Championships from March 26 to April 2.

Twelve teams will attend, with representatives from each province.

The CCC has never hosted this event.