Arena project on pause following provincial announcement
By Chad Ingram
The Minden Hills arena project is paused for the time being following an April 3 announcement by the provincial government that further restricts construction activities within Ontario.
province’s initial announcement of what “essential” businesses would be
permitted to continue operating amid the COVID-19 pandemic included most
forms of construction, an announcement from Premier Doug Ford last
Friday restricted permitted construction activities to the completion of
residential projects currently underway, along with construction
projects tied to essential services – the construction of a hospital,
It means that for now, the nearly $13-million arena project, which was on track to be completed early in June, is on hold.
a two-week period,” Minden Hills Mayor Brent Devolin told the Times,
adding he wouldn’t be surprised if that initial two-week period is
extended by at least another two weeks.
The original construction schedule for the project – which includes a new arena with six change rooms, office space for community services staff, and gymnasium with elevated walking track – was to see it completed for the end of the summer, before the 2020/21 ice season. However, projections in recent months have been that the facility would be completed in June.
“On a practical level, we had kind of two months’ grace,” Devolin said, noting though that, in a post-COVID-19 world, depending on what kind of restrictions might still be in place by the fall, activities that would normally happen at a recreation centre may not even be able to take place.
Devolin was asked if the pause of what is likely to be a month or more would come with additional financial costs.
“Usually, in a capital project, time is money,” he said, but added given the unprecedented nature of the situation, he wasn’t sure.
There are still a few sub-trade jobs to be contracted on the project – mostly exterior work such as curbs, etc. – and Devolin said that given the province-wide hold on construction, the township may be able to receive some competitive bids on those works once construction is able to resume.