There are a couple of numbers that are going to be major topics of discussion in the coming months.
It starts with $13.5 million, the potential cost to repair and upgrade Memorial Arena. Then there is the estimate of $16 to 17 million to build a brand new arena to replace Memorial. You can add another $1.5 million on top of that to demolish Memorial Arena and convert the area to parking.
Read more: Penticton Arena Task Force to be created
These are the initial estimates the Penticton Arena Task Force is going to be using when they start the discussion on the future of Penticton’s aging arenas next year.
Bregje Kozak, manager of facilities, said these are high-level estimates, but not finished projections.
They’re based on a series of assumptions, and were created by LTA Consultants, who specialize in construction cost estimates.
For a new arena, the current estimate is for a basic building, possibly 200 to 400 seats and a single, NHL-size sheet of ice along with ancillary spaces. LTA also assumed the installation of a refrigeration plant with the capacity to handle a second sheet of ice, making it possible to twin the facility in the future.
The two potential sites for a new arena are behind the Trade and Convention Centre, where there is a ball diamond now, or in the parking lot between the OHA arena and Eckhardt Avenue.
“When it comes to other things, like a second sheet of ice, more dressing rooms or other amenities, that is part of the public conversation, as is what to do with Memorial Arena,” said Kozak.
The $13.5-million estimate isn’t just for repairs, Kozak points out. It also includes upgrades, some to meet the current building code, which would be triggered by the extensive restoration, and others that would depend on the public’s desires: NHL-size ice surface, bleachers number of dressing rooms.
According to the LTA report, continuing to repair and maintain Memorial Arena would cost almost $32 million over the next 40 years, while building a new arena would cost $27 to 28 million over the same 40-year life cycle.
Other factors that will play into the Arena Task Force’s work, are considering the number of ice surfaces Penticton needs, and which facilities, existing or new they should be in, as well as how they can be funded.