The tear down of the old arena began in April, 2002. The project was scheduled to be completed by September of the same year. Many people involved in the project felt the time frames would be tight and the money hard to come by. Byth Community raised $1.1 million dollars and they were amazed at the support and donations from the community. Donations from the community made up over 85 percent of the total.
An auction was held which raised $35,000. The Heart and Soul Committee vice-chair Steven Sparling sang the praises of the community which supported not just the auction, but the entire project. "In our small communities we don't often have opportunities to undertake significant projects such as this. The success of the auction confirmed what most of us have known. There is tremendous support for this, a broad base of support." Sparling also gives credit to special events char Doug Walker for his work in planning the celebration, which included tours, a barbeque and auction. "He did a tremendous job".
The project was on budget, and on time. Dwight Chalmers was credited with keeping things on target as well as the project manager Paul Jackson. They both worked together to meet the completion dates. It is amazing to consider that the project was completed in the time frame considering the magnitude of the project.
The arena renovation is the largest public-private partnership to ever be undertaken in Blyth. The improvements have included extensive changes to the arena, plus alterations to the community centre and kitchen. The exterior was also altered. It was originally considered a renovation, but it really looks like a new facility.
A donor wall has been erected at the arena entrance to give credit to the committee for the tremendous amount of hard work that has gone into this project. Something like this doesn't just happen. It take planning and hard work. It also shows when a community puts its mind to something, great things can be achieved.