SRD to look at arena expansion

The Strathcona Regional District intends to spend $75,000 on a study to identify potential improvements

The Strathcona Regional District intends to spend $75,000 on a study to identify potential improvements, such as arena upgrades and a new wellness centre, for Strathcona Gardens.

Strathcona Gardens Commissioners approved the study for the 2014 budget at its Jan. 30 meeting.

The study was prompted by last month’s review of an arena evaluation study that was done in the fall of 2004.

That study provided the commission with three options for increasing seating at Rod Brind’Amour Arena – two of which involve renovating the existing arena and one which recommends building a new arena at Strathcona Gardens. The study also presented the commission with conceptual drawings for a wellness centre to be build beside the swimming pool.

Yves Bienvenu, Strathcona Gardens manager of facilities, said that regional district staff and the commissioners recently reviewed the three arena planning options and the wellness centre option but that an in-depth study is required to determine the most appropriate course of action.

“The commission was taken on a facility tour hosted by the operations manager which provided a visual perspective of the plans,” Bienvenu wrote in a report to the commission. “Upon reviewing the existing plans and studies, it was determined that a new facility needs assessment should be conducted in order to plan effectively for the future of the Strathcona Gardens Recreation Complex.”

Commissioners approved adding the study to the capital budget for Strathcona Gardens and at the same time, made some other adjustments.

Commissioners voted to move an irrigation system project to 2014 and move the implementation of a front entrance vestibule from 2015 to 2014.

The reason being that a new energy loop being installed at Strathcona Gardens is expected to save roughly $50,000 per year in energy costs.

Putting in the front vestibule, which is essentially a second set of front doors, will help with energy savings by not allowing heat from the building to escape outside.

Other highlights of the 2014 capital budget include: an electronic sign on Dogwood Street ($32,100); landscaping on Pinecrest Street to thwart Scotch broom ($20,000); and a secure storage compound ($10,000).

The commission has also budgeted for arena upgrades in 2016 that include change room expansion ($1.57 million); mezzanine improvements ($1.57 million); and concession upgrades ($51,200).