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Cold Lake council has greenlight extra funding for North Arena modernization

An additional $500,000 of funding has been committed to renovate and modernize the North Arena to get the facility ready for the upcoming hockey and skating season.

Mayor Craig Copeland says the first two phases have already been completed.

“We removed the old floor and boards and replaced them with a brand new concrete slab and puck boards. We also replaced the 50-year-old ice plant with a newer, more energy-efficient system that is separate from the facility. What still needs to be completed are the areas around the ice, like the dressing rooms, lobby, and viewing area.”

The 2021 capital budget saw the council allocate 3 million dollars for North Arena upgrades in 2021.

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Replacement of the floor slab, puck boards, and ice plant totaled just over $2 million, leaving $925,000 for the dressing room and viewing area renovations. The project tender closed in May 2022, with the lowest compliant bid coming in at $1.24 million, not including engineering and contingency costs.

“When we first budgeted for this project over a year ago, we weren’t facing the same skyrocketing construction, fuel, and material costs that we are today,” said Copeland. “We’re about half a million dollars short on this project, but the North Arena has long been a landmark and an important amenity for many families in Cold Lake, and Council felt it was important to spend this extra money to bring it up to the standards it should be for our community.”

The additional $500,000 is coming from the unrestricted surplus.

Construction will begin in mid-July after the completion of a previously-scheduled provincial lacrosse tournament. Renovations are expected to be completed by the end of October.

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