Sights set on $12-mil­lion pro­ject cap

West Hants arena de­sign sub­com­mit­tee fi­nal­iz­ing RFP for multi-mil­lion dol­lar sports com­plex

Valley Journal Advertiser - - SPORTS - BY COLIN CHISHOLM WWW.HANTSJOUR­NAL.CA

The sub­com­mit­tee tack­ling the de­sign as­pect of a $12-mil­lion sports com­plex in Wind­sor has nearly com­pleted their re­quest for pro­pos­als (RFP) ap­pli­ca­tion, which po­ten­tial con­trac­tors will bid on.

West Hants Coun. Tanya Leopold, who chairs the sub­com­mit­tee, said she’s happy with how the process is pro­gress­ing so far on the pro­ject that will in­clude an ice sur­face, walk­ing track and in­door soc­cer field.

“Some of the items we wanted to nail down in­cluded the walk­ing track, ter­mi­nol­ogy, so that it’s con­sis­tent through­out,” Leopold said.

On Nov. 19, the sub­com­mit­tee voted to in­crease the walk­ing track to a min­i­mum of 12-feet wide, with two lanes.

A flood mit­i­ga­tion study, which is nec­es­sary be­cause the prop­erty, on the Hants County Ex­hi­bi­tion grounds, is con­sid­ered dyke­land, is un­der­way now and is ex­pected to be com­pleted soon.

“It’s been fairly ex­pe­di­ent, only be­cause a lot of time was spent at the be­gin­ning tied up with own­er­ship is­sues, and I’m talk­ing about years of flipflop­ping all over the place,” said Leopold, re­fer­ring to Wind­sor’s pre­vi­ous at­tempt to build an arena at Long Pond. “But I feel that we have re­ally en­gaged cit­i­zen mem­bers.”

Leopold said she’s not wor­ried about the fi­nan­cial as­pect of the pro­ject, say­ing she is con­fi­dent that the prov­ince and fed­eral govern­ment will fol­low through with con­tri­bu­tions.

“With our fundrais­ing, we never like to hold them to a num­ber,” she said. “We’re try­ing to hit a $12-mil­lion cap now, which com­pletely ex­cludes fundrais­ing.”

Pub­lic in­put

Leopold said she ex­pects pub­lic in­put on the fa­cil­ity’s de­sign to get un­der­way in earnest once a con­trac­tor comes for­ward with a de­sign pro­posal — af­ter the RFP is awarded.

“They’ll pro­vide us with artis­tic ren­der­ings. What we have now are purely con­cep­tual draw­ings,” she said. “Be­cause we’re at the RFP stage, this isn’t the prime op­por­tu­nity for the pub­lic to make those sug­ges­tions be­cause we can’t ac­com­mo­date all of those.”

The RFP is head­ing out on Dec. 1.

Mem­bers of the sub­com­mit­tee have been tour­ing other fa­cil­i­ties around the re­gion that fit, gen­er­ally, within West Hants’ bud­get and scope, in­clud­ing the Kings Mu­tual Cen­tury Cen­tre in Ber­wick, which was high­lighted for its mod­ern de­sign.

All de­ci­sions made by the West Hants Sports Com­plex De­sign Com­mit­tee will have to be voted on by West Hants coun­cil.

The next de­sign com­mit­tee meet­ing is sched­uled for Nov. 27 at 2 p.m.

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