GLACE BAY, N.S. -- The official opening of the Miners Forum -- formerly known as the Bayplex -- took place in Glace Bay, N.S., on Thursday.

Bob Burchell worked for the United Mine Workers of America. He says the facility's new name has special meaning for many in the community, who have connections to Cape Breton's rich coal mining history.

“If it wasn't for the hard work of the coal miners from Glace Bay, New Waterford, and surrounding areas, we wouldn't have had a lot of these facilities in the early days,” says Burchell.

Built by miners in 1939, the original Miners Forum was torn down more than 25 years ago. The building was replaced by the Bayplex, which was plagued with problems from day one and closed its doors in 2017.

The newly-renovated facility features a regulation-size ice surface, a lounge area, and community room.

“There was a void in our town; the Miners Forum is the hub of our community,” says James Edwards, the president of Glace Bay Minor Hockey.

“We're looking forward to dropping the puck for the first minor hockey game.”

Edwards hopes players will hit the ice in early October.

According to Premier Stephen McNeil, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang has been seriously thinking about minor hockey.

“We hope we will have something good to say in the coming days. It may look a little different, but the hockey on the ice will be the same and the camaraderie on the ice will be the same,” says McNeil.