The cost of overhauling and expanding the Halifax Forum complex has climbed to $60.5 million from $38 million.
A community association operates the 5,000-seat facility which includes two rinks, a multi-purpose building and a bingo
In 2013, the association submitted a proposal to the municipality which included demolishing the multi-purpose building and adding a third arena and a gym. The ice plant also needs to be replaced.
Paul Card, the head of the association’s redevelopment committee, thinks the investment is worth it. Some Ontario communities are facing higher costs for arena projects than $60 million and the Forum already has some infrastructure in place.
“It just needs a little love and care,” he said.
Paul Card of the Halifax Forum Community Association believes spending up to $60.5 million to renovate and expand the 5,000-seat facility in north-end Halifax is a sound investment. (Robert Short/CBC)
Card said the Forum complex is located in a rapidly growing area, and already gets a half million visits every year for events not related to the ice surfaces.
“The community needs this,” he said. “The peninsula needs a ‘hub’ facility.”
Card points out some of the increase in cost is due to inflation — it’s been five years since the original proposal was submitted.
The other issue is the Forum is a registered heritage building, designed by Andrew Cobb and constructed in 1927. Bringing it up to national building codes and making it accessible will add to the price tag.
A new municipal report has outlined some options to reduce the cost.
A third rink for the Halifax Forum complex is an option contained in a proposal to upgrade and expand the facility. The complex also needs a new ice plant. (Robert Short/CBC)
One involves demolishing the multi-purpose building but not adding a third rink. Another suggestion is to find
a partner in the project, such as Dalhousie University, which has been talking about building its own two-rink complex in south-end Halifax.
The report also mentions the possibility of adding other recreational facilities to the complex, such as a 50-metre pool.
Halifax regional council will be discussing the various options at its meeting Tuesday.Read more