WHITEHORSE—Community Services Minister Archie Lang has established a team to assist Ross River in addressing short- and long-term action in response to the fire that destroyed most of the community’s recreation centre.
“We value our community recreation centres and recognize the great many benefits they offer to all residents across Yukon,” Lang said. “We will work closely with the Ross River Recreation Society to offer our support and assist with the next steps so that we can get a recreation centre back up and running.”
The team will include a Community Services recreation consultant and a community advisor who will work closely with the Ross River Dena Council and the Ross River Recreation Society. The departments of Highways and Public Works, Health and Social Services and Justice will also be engaged throughout the process.
Debris has been cleared from in front of the arena which housed the gym, concession and class room area. Highways and Public Works continue to co-ordinate work to remove the metal debris from the site.
“The generosity of all the individuals who offered their support in this time of need has been overwhelming,” MLA for Pelly-Nisutlin Marian C. Horne said. “I also want to recognize the efforts of the Ross River Volunteer Fire Department and the Faro Fire Department for working to safeguard the community. As the hub of the community, the loss of the arena is significant for Ross River, and we are taking action to help the community move forward.”
The Ross River swimming pool was unaffected by the fire and is expected to be well used this summer. Outdoor basketball and tennis courts will also be installed next to the recreation centre site once the debris is cleaned up.
“To all those who reacted so quickly with kindness and support for the residents of Ross River, thank you,” Lang added.
The recreation centre was built in 1989 and underwent extensive renovations in 2009 and 2010 with funding from Yukon and Canada under the Recreation Infrastructure Fund. The Ross River Recreation Society and the RCMP were also significant partners who worked with the community to bring life to the facility. It was reopened in fall 2010.
The Yukon Fire Marshal and RCMP are expected to release further findings related to the fire in the near future.