The Plum Coulee arena is back up and running after being shut down for over a year.

Fire in May 2016 caused extensive damage to the structure and the adjoining community hall.

Rhineland reeve Don Wiebe said the arena, which opened to the public last week, has been fixed up and now sports a bright and fresh new look.

"We think the arena looks great. It has a totally new appearance now that the beams have been painted and new lights have been installed. It's bright, alive and has been cleaned up, and looks like a fun place to skate again, We hope residents get out there and enjoy it."

Meanwhile, the community hall is almost ready to open and will begin taking bookings on December 1st.

Renovations to that part of the building have created a much more functional facility for future gatherings and events, according to Wiebe.

"It has been redesigned and reconfigured with an improved entrance. The steps going up to the second floor have been modified so it's much easier to navigate. The hall has been reoriented, the kitchen has been moved to a different part of the room, the washrooms have been relocated which now provides a nice rectangular space with new lighting making it more functional."

Wiebe says the community hall will still seat about 200 people and he is confident local residents will enjoy the refurbished space.

The reeve estimates the cost of repairs and upgrades is about 2.5 million dollars, much of which is being covered by insurance.

He added, the RM has also received about $300,000 from the C.J. Dyck Estate, most of which was used for engineering costs and the pouring of a new concrete floor for the arena.

The newly refurbished arena is supported by new coolers and other infrastructure