A stadium sneak peek
Harbour Grace facility ahead of schedule
The outside of the new recreation facility in Habour Grace is getting the last of its cosmetic touches.
But inside, the work is only just beginning. Walls have been partitioned and wiring work is starting.
The bland smell of concrete and mortar hangs in the air as a front-end loader molds a mound of brown dirt into the floor of what will be the rink itself. In a couple of weeks, workers will pour concrete and lay piping to complete the look.
An orange tarp hangs over where the ice resurfacer door and the concrete-grey stairs of the main foyer beg for some colour.
Make no mistake about it. The facility is miles ahead from where it was even three months ago.
During a recent site visit by The Compass, everything was on display.
The multitude of space downstairs and up, the destination for the walking track and where the dressing rooms will be located. Everything.
Harbour Grace Mayor Terry Barnes gets excited when he talks about progress the stadium has made in just under a year. Work first began last July and now they’re a couple of days from putting in the bleachers along one side of the ice surface.
Don’t worry though; there will be bleachers on both sides contrary to a rumour making its way around the area.
“We’re surprised by the length of time it’s taken them to get this far,” said Barnes. “It took Paradise over two years. In July, we started doing the ground. Then, we stopped for a little while and when they started, they started.”
The mayor attributes this to the milder-than-usual winter we’ve had in these parts. It’s hindered workers very little as they worked to erect the steel and shell of the some $20-milion facility. Severe weather only came after the walls were up.
Slated for an August opening — at the latest mid-September — the new stadium gets bigger the closer you get to it. Originally, it was believed the stadium would see its first action in 2017.
That was bumped up to November, before this latest estimate.
“When I tell people, they don’t believe me. They don’t believe she’s so close to being done. Terry Barnes
“It’s unbelievable. I can’t get over it. I don’t know what to say,” said Barnes. “When I tell people, they don’t believe me. They don’t believe she’s so close to being done.”
To motorists passing by on the adjacent Veteran’s Memorial Highway, the facility seems rather mundane. From there, it’s just another stadium. However, the closer you get the more impressive it looks.
Outside the unusual colour scheme, the size of the building reminds you of a smallish airplane hangar.
Inside, your breath hitches a second when you look at where the National Hockey League-sized ice surface will be located. A cavernous space, it reaches upwards to 30-feet in the air and is more than 100-feet across. Including the foyer, the building is more than 300-feet in length.
“The ice is going to be huge,” said Barnes.
Lit barely by a floodlight somewhere around where centre ice will be located, the inner bowl aims to put the S.W. Moores Memorial Stadium to shame.
There’s room for a walking track, which will run in a different part of the building and away from the stadium, and office space for all of the interested parties.
During the visit, Barnes lists off CeeBees minor hockey, the CBN Skating Club and the senior CeeBees. That’s not to mention a gym and other amenities.
“We’re excited,” said Barnes.
The new Harbour Grace recreation facility should fit the needs of the region.
This hallway leads to where the dressing rooms will be.
A closer look at where the ice surface will be.
The main foyer of the building is still a work in progress.
One of the dozens of water connections at the facility.
The bowl for the ice surface is NHL size.