Curlers will get a chance to compete under cover in Alexandra this coming season as plans for a new ice rink gain momentum.
A plantation of trees has been cleared at the northwest end of the ice rink, making way for the new IceInline facility, which will be fully covered.
IceInline chairman Murray Miller hoped the facility would be operating by late April, in time for the upcoming season. It would be for curling only.
The project is estimated to cost $500,000 once completed, which comprises the cost of all the equipment, including curling stones from Scotland.
The World Curling Federation has agreed to help fund the project with an interest-free loan of $100,000, on the proviso the new lanes were used for curling only.
Mr Miller said the new facility will feature two lanes
It will not replace the existing rink. Instead, both will both be used, ultimately giving teams more game time throughout the season.
And the season is expected to last longer, because the new rink will be under cover.
IceInline committee member and project manager Robert Kvick said feedback had been positive and many people “all around the community” had helped along the way, including the Central Otago District Council, Alexandra Clyde and Districts Business Group, Central Lakes Trust, Otago Community Trust and Lotteries Grant Board.
The new facility has been on the drawing board since at least October 2018.