Arena Construction Ahead of Schedule
Quesnel, B.C. – Ahead of time and possibly under budget.
That’s Quesnel Mayor Bob Simpson’s take on the progress crews are making on the new arena in town – the West Fraser Centre.
He says the contract stipulates work must be complete by next September but it looks right now like they’re a month or two ahead.
“If things continue the way that it’s going right now – fingers crossed – we could have access to the building in July,” says Simpson. “It’s beginning to look like a real building which is the main thing for our community with the steel up and the concrete floors and sub floors all done and now some of the cinder block going up its starting to really take shape.”
He says the building will hold around 1,400 seats give or take a hundred or so while they decide on the size of the seats. It will also feature an NHL-sized rink, an indoor walking track, two multi-purpose rooms, referee rooms, change rooms, a wood ceiling and office space.
Simpson says it’s been budgeted at a ceiling cost of $20.6 million but hopes it will come in below that by using what’s known as value engineering.
“So when you bid on a project like this, the architects and the engineers spec out your heating and ventilation system where they spec out in the case of an arena the floor system,” he says.
“The project gets costed to that specification but a lot of contractors who actually do the work, know of other systems that would meet the specifications but aren’t as pricey or can be sourced more locally. And the cost reductions associated with that are called value engineering.”
Aside from some parking hassles – the new rink is being built in the parking lot of the Twin Arenas and curling rink – he says the community is excited for the new building to open noting it will allow the city to do things that it couldn’t do before, like hosting regional and provincial tournaments.
“So as we have more users and tournaments, as we have more people coming down to watch some of the games, that just drives economic activity into our business community and hotels. It’ll be a big shot in the arm above and beyond what our current hockey, figure skating and lacrosse groups do for our community.”