Wednesday , 6 July 2022
North Arena designs. Image: City of Cold Lake.

Council greenlights extra funding for North Arena modernization

City Council has committed an additional $500,000 to the renovation and modernization of the North Arena, in order to have the facility ready for the upcoming hockey and skating season.

“The first two phases of the project have already been completed,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “We removed the old floor and boards and replaced them with a brand new concrete slab and puck boards. We also replaced the 50-year-old ice plant with a newer, more energy-efficient system that is separate from the facility. What still needs to be completed are the areas around the ice, like the dressing rooms, lobby and viewing area.”

Council allocated $3 million for North Arena upgrades in the 2021 capital budget. Replacement of the floor slab, puck boards and ice plant totaled just over $2 million, leaving $925,000 for dressing room and viewing area renovations. The project tender closed in May 2022, with the lowest compliant bid coming in at $1.24 million, not including engineering and contingency costs.

“When we first budgeted for this project over a year ago, we weren’t facing the same skyrocketing construction, fuel and material costs that we are today,” said Copeland. “We’re about half a million dollars short on this project, but the North Arena has long been a landmark and an important amenity for many families in Cold Lake, and Council felt it was important to spend this extra money to bring it up to the standards it should be for our community.”

Council passed a motion to allocate the additional $500,000 from unrestricted surplus. Construction will begin in mid-July after the completion of a previously-scheduled provincial lacrosse tournament. Renovations are expected to be completed by the end of October.

City of Cold Lake. 

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.