It’s been talked about, studied and reviewed for years, but work on a new ice arena in Penticton is still in the early stages.
Bregje Kozak, recreation and culture director for the City of Penticton, said there is still a lot of planning and design to be done before construction can get underway, which won’t be happening in 2019.
“Especially for borrowing, we’d have to go through electoral approval first; then to make sure that we have the funding in place and go through the detailed design,” said Kozak.”It’s very unlikely that we would see any actual construction happening in the next couple of years.”
Kozak said she is getting ready to present the Phase II business case to council, probably in early February.
“Last time when we went to council, they told us to come back with more information. And that’s essentially what this is, it’s the rest of the information that we’re looking for.
“It looks at all of the operational costs and revenue opportunities with the arena concept. This phase of work allowed us to get into a lot more detail, the more accurate capital and operating cost projections. It has more accurate forecasts of the economic impacts.”
In July 2017, Penticton city council unanimously approved the Arena Task Force’s recommendation to build a new twin-sheet arena, convert Memorial Arena to dry-floor and decommission McLaren as an ice arena. At the time, the projected cost was $33. 6 million.
“That was the concept, but then that’s why we keep calling it a concept … we didn’t get project approval. We simply got approval to keep proceeding with more details on that concept,” said Kozak, adding the next steps are dependent on how city council chooses to proceed.
“This will be my first presentation to the new council about this project,” said Kozak. ‘We’re really going to them to see how they want to move forward with it.”
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
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