Rossland Council updated on cost of fixing arena

It will cost $700,000+ to get job done

An update to city council on the aging Rossland Arena indicates that fixing the facility is going to come with a hefty price tag.

A report to council at its last meeting indicated that replacing the ice-making equipment in the facility and making necessary renovations and repairs to the building itself will cost taxpayers just under $700,000.

That’s nearly double estimates for the project in a report from last fall.

“This time [the estimate] includes installation and engineering,” says Mayor Kathy Moore, explaining the difference. “The other was just the cost of the piece of hardware itself. So we always knew it would be higher.”

The report from city administration giving more detail on the arena project costs was submitted at the Jan. 6 council meeting. Staff said the new estimate includes:

• Required engineering, design and tendering activities (approximately $33,800),

• Actual construction costs (approximately $601,000), and

• Project contingencies (at 10 per cent or $63,480).

However, the estimate isn’t the final bill. Council will get a better sense of — and vote on — the actual cost next month.

“Pricing submitted for completion of this work will be re-reviewed and brought forward to council sometime in February for formal approval due to the lead time of securing applicable components related to completing this project prior to the facility’s 2020/21 operating season,” the report states.

Council’s already started budgeting for the project. The report to council notes that the city’s draft 2020 budget for general arena capital upgrades/undertakings is $537,000 in 2020, and $150,000 for every year between 2021 and 2024.

However, the report to council also notes the estimate is a Class D estimate — the roughest outline of costs — so the final price tag could be even higher.

Staff is working under direction from council to look at replacing the chiller and condenser system for the arena, and adding the capability of having an off-season gym floor to expand the arena’s use.

That motion was made after a public consultation process found most Rosslanders want to keep ice in the arena and find new uses for the facility.

“Both units were installed in 1997 and are considered to be past their expected service life expectancy of 20 years,” says the report to council. “This capital project is also consistent with the future direction of the facility as previously discussed.”

Staff said pricing submitted for completion of this work will be re-reviewed and brought forward to council sometime in February for formal approval.

The decision to begin serious repairs to the arena comes after the facility has had “minimal capital upgrades over the past five to seven years,” the report says. “[T]he city has mainly focused on making it safe to the public and employees to operate and utilize for the short-term.”

The arena was originally built in 1952-53 and in 1955 the Rossland Curling Rink addition was completed. Since the original construction of the facility, numerous additional improvements have been made.

Council received the report as information.

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