Dun­das arena ren­o­va­tion, expansion ten­ta­tively sched­uled for sum­mer start

The Hamilton Spectator - - LOCAL - CRAIG CAMPBELL

Hamil­ton city staff are now work­ing to meet con­di­tions of site plan ap­proval for the long-awaited ren­o­va­tion and expansion of J.L. Gright­mire Arena in hopes of hav­ing the pro­ject ten­dered and a build­ing per­mit in hand by the mid­dle of May.

Con­struc­tion is ten­ta­tively sched­uled to start this sum­mer — at least five years af­ter the first plans were drawn up.

Rom D’An­gelo, the city’s di­rec­tor of fa­cil­ity man­age­ment and cap­i­tal pro­grams, called the time­line “op­ti­mistic,” but said it’s a pretty strict sched­ule.

“We can­not de­vi­ate from th­ese dates too much if we in­tend to meet sub­stan­tial com­ple­tion by Septem­ber 2018, in time for the 2018-19 hockey sea­son,” D’An­gelo said.

Staff from var­i­ous de­part­ments met to re­view com­ments and is­sues with the de­tailed site plan ap­pli­ca­tion.

D’An­gelo was not at the meet­ing but said there is a list of items staff has to go through dur­ing the for­mal site plan re­view process, which is overseen by con­sul­tant Bob Prince, of In­visj Ar­chi­tects.

Prince said he’d rather not com­ment on de­tails of the site plan re­view, pre­fer­ring to leave that up to the city it­self.

D’An­gelo said one sig­nif­i­cant part of the site plan re­view, which is ex­pected to con­tinue un­til mid-April, is the Hamil­ton Con­ser­va­tion Au­thor­ity’s flood-proof­ing re­quire­ments.

The con­ser­va­tion au­thor­ity and city agreed to al­low “ac­tive” flood con­trol — wa­ter­proof doors — rather than “pas­sive” flood con­trol, which would have re­quired rais­ing the el­e­va­tion of ex­ist­ing and new doors.

D’An­gelo said staff is also re­view­ing any pos­si­ble ef­fects on neigh­bour­ing fa­cil­i­ties, in­clud­ing the Garstin Cen­tre for the Arts and the Dun­das Com­mu­nity Pool.

He said when the con­tract is awarded in mid-May, the suc­cess­ful con­trac­tor will pre­pare a de­tailed con­struc­tion man­age­ment plan.

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