Weather helps move arena project along
Dry and sunny weather throughout much of the summer has helped move the Minden Hills arena project along.
Community services director Mark Coleman gave councillors a monthly update on the $13-million project during an Aug. 29 council meeting.
“The project is progressing on schedule, to slightly ahead of schedule,” Coleman said. “There’s about a month more of major tendering to be done until the end of September.”
The new building is scheduled to be completed before the 2020/21 ice season. The regular users of the ice surface at the Minden arena are for the most part using the A.J. LaRue Arena in Haliburton village for this upcoming winter.
While the contract for the project, being done through what’s called an “integrated project delivery” model, was awarded to Ottawa’s McDonald Brothers’ Construction and Parkin Architects Ltd., those companies oversee the bidding process for all the subcontractors used throughout the project. Any savings are split between the project delivery team of the two companies and the township through what is called a “profit pool.”
The project includes a new arena with a 200-foot ice pad and six change rooms, new office space for township staff and a gymnasium with elevated walking track. Coleman said the steel structure for the walking track was scheduled to be installed shortly, and that drywalling should begin within six weeks or so. Some electrical and plumbing work has also started, he said.
“I think we’ve only had one day in this whole summer that we’ve kind of been adversely affected by weather and rain,” said Mayor Brent Devolin. “For scheduling a capital project, it has been a dream.”
Devolin added that within the next couple of months, the new building should be sealed off, allowing internal work to continue uninterrupted.
“It will take weather out of the equation, as we go forward,” he said.
Councillor Bob Carter had questions regarding budget documents.
“There are a number of things . . . you’ve got masonry veneer, where at one point there was a budget, and then it’s been taken out, things for fire alarms and security monitoring and so and so forth,” Carter said. “I understand that masonry veneer was probably something that was done differently, but when I see security systems and fire alarms that have gone from a budget to zero, what does that mean?”
“So, as the more detailed design progressed, some of those finer details got flushed out, so some monies in some budget lines are moved,” Coleman said, explaining that one bidder may be able to provide more than one component of the building.
“Fire alarms, I assume is covered off somewhere, it would be nice to know where that is,” Carter said.
A fundraising working group for the project has been established, with its inaugural meeting taking place July 31.
“It was more an overview meeting and discussion of ideas and setting a potential framework for various fundraising initiatives,” Coleman said.
Minutes from that meeting show that present were Coleman, Devolin and members Diane Peacock, Cheryl Smith Hamilton, Betty Mark and Kathy Mason. According to the minutes, some of the fundraising ideas discussed were a seat sale; the possibility of selling square foot chunks of the ice surface with the names of the purchasers put on a plaque in the building; donors purchasing a brick or metre of the walking track; motorcycle rides; dinners; golf tournaments; and scavenger hunts. Sponsorships were also discussed.