Memorial Arena needs immediate work to keep users safe

Penticton’s Memorial Arena's biggest bill is keeping the 61-year-old structure operating.

Penticton's Memorial Arena is in need of repairs.

Penticton's Memorial Arena is in need of repairs.

Penticton’s Memorial Arena is in need of some serious repairs immediately, but a bigger bill is in the offing to keep the 61-year-old structure operating.

“In the short term, that being the next two years, the city is going to be looking at spending in the vicinity of a million dollars in structural improvements on that building,” said director of operations Mitch Moroziuk, referencing to an evaluation of the 65-year-old building done by Associated Engineering.

In the short-term, Moroziuk said there is about $50,000 of work that needs to be done, including operation changes needed to keep users of the arena safe.

“There is a wind post that is basically rotten and needs to be replaced,” said Moroziuk. The wind post, on the western side of the building, helps stabilize the effects of wind on the large flat surface there. There are also repairs needed to the glue-lam arch supports, which Moroziuk said could be deferred for two years, but a wind restriction would have to be put in place.

“The building will not be able to be used when winds are greater than 80 kilometres an hour or gusts greater than 110 km occur. We have to put a wind monitor in the vicinity of the building, so we can monitor that, and put in place operating protocols so we could close the building if that occurs,” said Moroziuk. “Until structural improvements are done on that building, there will be a limitation under those wind conditions.”

Other restrictions include keeping an eye on the snow load.

“The depth of the snow on the main roof has to be restricted to no more than 300 millimetres. We had some issues with that last year where it accumulated and actually slid,” said Moroziuk.

The final item is the brine pipes providing refrigeration for the ice surface.

“They are supported by hangars and those hangars are failing. We need to replace them, because we don’t want the pipe to shift, that would then crack and raise additional issues,” said Moroziuk.

Capital costs are estimated at $35,000 for the wind post, $5,000 for the wind meter, $5,000 for the brine pipes and another $5,000 to make the operating protocol changes. Moroziuk said all the repairs could be funded by reallocating funds from existing capital and operating budgets.

Mayor Andrew Jakubeit questioned when a full report on Memorial Arena would be available for council.

“At some point in time we have to start deciding how much money we are putting into Memorial Arena or just the full story of its lifecycle,” said Jakubeit.

Moroziuk said the report should be ready this fall, and that they were putting some finishing touches on the report, including looking at

Memorial Arena usage and what the total costs to effect all the repairs needed as well as investigating other options for the arena’s future.