Oxford to consider arena upgrades

Sam McNeish
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Architectural plan presented to council

OXFORD - A move to update an aging Oxford Lions Arena reached the next step in Monday when an architect charged with design enhancements made a presentation to Oxford Council.

A community group chaired by Chris Deveaux, a resident of the community, set a plan in motion recently to refurbish the facility that is home to the Cumberland County Minor Hockey Association and the centerpiece of operations for the Cumberland County Exhibition.

"I believe the building has a lot of potential. There is a great deal of space that is underutilized,' John Doucette of John Doucette Architecture said.

"The drawings that are here tonight could be taken to a contractor to get an estimate on the project. What I am looking for tonight is direction from your group on where we are going and how to proceed from here."

The enhancements would include new and improved dressing rooms, an expanded and enhanced lounge area, a heated area in the bleachers and the addition of a workout facility to further enhance the use of the facility and be used as a revenue generator.

In addition, the building would be lengthened by an additional 10 feet to make room for the enhancements in the lounge area that could be used for functions such as dances, sporting events, meetings and exhibition hospitality.

If completed as per plan, the lounge area has room for eight tables with four chairs at each and additional space is available to add extra seats or various functions. When complete, it is estimated the lounge will be around 2,000 square feet.

The dressing rooms will be renovated and insulated to include a sink, toilet and two showers and the workout facility will be glassed in to have a view of the ice surface.

Doucette said a similar project his firm completed in Dartmouth at the Gray Arena was done for around $350,000. There are some variances in the designs, but it gives the groups an idea of the cost of the project.

The local group is looking at fundraising the money for the enhancements and developments and plans will be released as they become available.

smcneish@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Oxford Council, Cumberland County Minor Hockey Association, Cumberland County Exhibition

Geographic location: Oxford, Dartmouth

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