Arena cheaper to renovate

The City of Penticton would have to spend $17.5M to renovate Memorial Arena to a level comparable to a new facility, but that's still less than building an entirely new building on the South Okanagan Events Centre campus.

The long-awaited architectural and engineering audits of Memorial and Mclaren Arenas have been published online, prior to this evening's open house on the topic being held at the convention centre between 4 and 8 p.m.

The Carscadden Stokes McDonald Architects report finds that Memorial will need a bare minimum of $5.1M in maintenance and safety upgrades over the next decade, including the repair of rot at the base of the building's arches, a new roof, and floors.

That, plus renovations to the lobby, dressing rooms and upgrade of the ice surface can be completed for $10.93M. Full modernization, which would get the building up to a standard that would function comparable to a new facility, would cost $17.5M.

The report calls Memorial a “venerable institution in the community,” but makes no recommendations on its fate.

The price tag for Mclaren is considerably less.

It needs $1.2M in safety upgrades at minimum, or $5.17M to modernize the building and make changes to the dressing rooms and add a lobby.

A separate feasibility study into the construction of a new arena at the SOEC is also being presented at tonight’s open house. It presents options for placements of new rinks in single and double sheet layouts.

The most affordable, a single sheet of ice, would cost $21.9M in building construction and site preparations. A double sheet would cost $34.3M.

The study presents two options for building placement on the campus, one on Alberni Street immediately west of the main SOEC building. The other suggests, the parking lot west of the curling rink.

The study’s “preferred option” is a double sheet on Alberni Street, south of the baseball diamonds.

In addition to this evening’s open house, the City of Penticton’s arena task force will be holding several public workshops next month. They will also be set up at the Farmers Market on July 15 and 22. If you have an opinion on the city’s arena situation, now is the time for it to be heard.

City council is holding a special public meeting on July 25, where they will decide a direction prior to the deadline for a $6M federal infrastructure grant.


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