‘Heritage’ plaques will survive arena renovation
Two commemorative stone plaques, recognizing construction of J.L. Grightmire Arena 66 years ago, will be removed and preserved during demolition of the arena’s front section then reinstalled in the new facade of a two-storey addition to the existing ice surface.
Preservation of the “valued heritage item” as well as careful removal of an electronic sign, which will also be reinstalled, are included in a 1,000-page tender package released last week for a $7-million renovation of the arena.
The long-awaited project, which has stalled several times since it was first conceived more than five years ago, is expected to be awarded to a contractor in August, with work scheduled to start the same month. The deadline for bids is Tuesday, July 18.
The tender states the project is to be completed by Sept. 7, 2018. User groups, including Dundas Minor Hockey, Dundas Blues and Dundas Real McCoys, must relocate for 2017-18, but the addition and renovation is planned to be done in time for the following season.
Several changes have been made from the original application by the city’s recreation department. The January 2017 application stated the addition would increase the maximum capacity of the arena from 1,400 to 1,550, increasing parking demand by 30 spaces. The application included a parking study that found the increased parking need could be accommodated by existing spaces within 500 metres of the arena. The application included adding six new parking spaces in the lot that not only serves the arena, but also the Dundas Little Theatre next door and the Dundas Community Pool.
According to the tender documents, the project will not increase the total capacity, which will officially remain at 1,400.
The tender proposes a total of 136 parking spaces, an increase of about 16 or 17 spaces over the existing parking lot. Robyn Ellis, manager of strategic planning in the city’s facilities management department, said there was early discussion about increasing parking to a total of 145 spots, but staff decided to integrate a “pedestrian walking path” through the parking area.
However, reconstruction and modification of the parking lot is one of two provisional items in the tender. Contractors are asked to submit separate individual prices for the parking lot modifications, as well as replacement of the existing stairs and bridge over the ice resurfacer access. The city reserves the right to remove one, or both, of the provisional items from the project after the tender is awarded.
Among the many details of the project is demolition of the existing single-storey and basement at the west end of the building, totalling 31,292 square feet, and construction of a new two-storey addition with basement of 37,610 square feet. The addition includes an elevator.
The basement will include seven new change rooms. The ground floor will feature a new entrance, lobby, washrooms, office space and concessions. The new second floor will include additional washrooms, storage, a multi-use room and several areas to view the rink. Though not specifically mentioned in the tender documents, the second floor will also provide a home for the Dundas Sports Hall of Fame.