Six potential stadium sites
Harbour Grace arena location to be chosen by “logic and reason”
Residents of Harbour Grace may be one step closer to lacing up their skates for the new arena scheduled to begin construction later this year.
Joey George, chairperson for the Harbour Grace Arena Steering Committee, released some new details on the site selection process and where things currently stand with the stadium during a meeting with The Compass on May 29.
Although the site has not been selected yet, the committee has determined the method to choose the best possible building location out of the six possibilities will be “logic and reason.”
The committee has decided to recommend a site based on six or seven major criteria, although George was tight-lipped about what they were.
Each individual criterion will be rated with a number. That number will represent the importance and need for the location — the higher the number the more important it is for the arena.
The committee will total the results of each site, and the location with the highest total will be designated the new home of the stadium.
These results will then follow the committee protocol — go back to the provincial government and Harbour Grace council for approval.
This should be completed by midJune, George said.
Craig Gordon, an engineer with the provincial Department of Municipal Affairs, attended a May 27 meeting to discuss the design and construction process, said George.
“We all have agreed on a ‘design/build’ concept,” George explained. “The person who designs the building does a joint venture with a construction company so they can team up to build it.”
The provincial government will send out requests to several different design firms across the province, and possibly across Canada, to submit their qualifications for the project.
Once two or three good candidates are selected from those submissions, the government will send a request for a price on the project, and the selection will be made from those results.
The expected timeframe for this to be finished is the beginning of September, and George expects to have a sod-turning ceremony at that time.
What does the stadium need?
The committee is asking an independent person who works in the recreation industry to help it determine the needs of the stadium.
This person will attend meetings with stakeholders in the area, including hockey and figure skating representatives, senior citizens and others that will benefit from what George called a “multipurpose complex.”
“We felt if we had somebody from the outside looking in, it’s probably better,” George said.
The decision is less likely to be biased if they bring somebody in, and everyone will have equal opportunity to explain their needs.
Another way the committee is determining the needs of their new building is by travelling to two or three arenas in the province that have been built in the past few years to get a first-hand account of what has and hasn’t worked.
George believes this will be completed by mid-June as well.
Once all the decisions are made, the information will be sent to the provincial government, and they will have either 60 or 90 days to produce a design from the design/build candidates.
“Of course, the design and what goes in it will have to fit the property that we pick,” George said.
Absolutely no overruns
George was adamant there would be no room for fiscal error.
“The monies we have are the monies we have to live within, and that should not be a problem anyway,” he stated. “We’ll build within our means.”
George suggested that another stadium that has recently began construction is already over its $22-million budget, and the committee agreed that will not happen with Harbour Grace.
“When we recommend everything, it will be within our means,” he said. “That’s what we have been tasked to do and that’s what we’re going to do.”
No overruns may mean compromise for some of the former suggestions for the complex, but George said the committee would take that into consideration when more definite plans are in place.
“I am led to believe if this decision is made on solid reasoning then it should be no problem,” he said, noting he discussed the situation with members of the Harbour Grace town council in mid-May.
Joey George is chairperson for the Harbour Grace Arena Steering Committee. The committee is currently ranking potential locations for the new stadium using six or seven criteria that is only known to the committee at this time.