Arena task force recommends twin-surface arena, to be built on SOEC property | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Arena task force recommends twin-surface arena, to be built on SOEC property

Under the option selected by Penticton's arena task force, Memorial Arena would continue to live on as a dry floor facility, with two new ice surfaces to be built on SOEC property.
July 22, 2017 - 3:30 PM

PENTICTON - Penticton’s arena task force wants council to build a twin surface, multi-use arena on the west side of the South Okanagan Events Centre property.

The group is recommending council invest the Strategic Priorities Fund grant, up to $6 million, to get it done.

The task force looked at several options, lifespans  and cost estimates for replacement or upgrades to the city’s Memorial and McLaren Arenas before selecting the most expensive, but also most enduring, option.

City of Penticton Manager of Facilities Bregje Kozak said in a press release, June 20, the task force felt the option, one of several put forward in the arena study, made the most sense for the grant application, as it is expected to meet Penticton’s arena needs for the next 50 years.

The option would result in the city investing in minimal repairs to Memorial Arena and McLaren Arena. When the new facility is built, Memorial Arena would be converted to a dry surface facility supporting lacrosse, pickleball and soccer, while McLaren is decommissioned.

The option comes with a $33.9 million price tag.

Arena task force chair Stewart Ladyman says there is increasing demand for more ice and dry surface activities in the city.

“A multi-use facility offers more flexibility to accommodate a wider range of uses, which means better use of our facilities, day and night, year round,” he says.

Kozak says the decision marks a milestone but is just the beginning of the planning process. Additional financial analysis is needed to clarify operational expenses and revenue opportunities for the option selected, and a funding strategy and more community consultation is necessary to build the business case.

Council is expected to review the recommendation at a public meeting on July 25 between 6 and 8 p.m. in council chambers.

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