MORRISBURG – After months of construction, the Morrisburg Arena will open for use October 22nd.
The arena has been under construction since May as contractors for the municipality worked to replace the arena’s ice pad.
“Contractors are working on the final touches now,” South Dundas director of recreation and facilities Ben Macpherson told The Leader. “October 22nd is the opening day.”
The project began after South Dundas received an Ontario Trillium Foundation grant this spring for $315,000, and proceeded once the project tender process was complete. Guy Saumure and Sons Construction was awarded the contract for $795,000, which was higher than the original $630,000 budgeted by the municipality. That amount included the Trillium funding.
In addition to the ice pad construction, a number of repairs were made to the facility including to the support columns.
A final bill for the arena project is not yet available.
“There have been no massive cost overruns,” said Macpherson. “I don’t expect any others when we get the final bill. There were no red flags on the last instalment invoice we received.”
Construction started with removing the existing boards, salvaging the glass from the boards, and removing the old concrete ice pad.
After months of preparation work, crews began to pour the new concrete ice pad September 5th. The pad needed to cure for a minimum of 28 days before the refrigeration plant could be turned on. Meanwhile other installations took place.
New boards were installed. Improvements to the player benches and penalty box layout have been made.
Crews were scheduled Wednesday to finish installing the board glass, 75 per cent of which was saved and reused from the old boards.
With the project there were some changes integrated into the design of the ice pad. It is one foot shorter than before.
“The east end does not butt against the arena wall now,” said Macpherson.
“That means there will be a little give in the boards, it will absorb impacts a bit better. It will be easier on skaters.”
In addition to changes in the rink’s length, the corner radius of the boards has increased.
“That will help with the Zamboni cleaning the ice,” Macpherson said. He added it will not impact playing space or regulation size of the ice.
Flooding of the ice began last Friday by staff, with Eastern Rink Services whitewashing the ice and painting lines. Flooding will continue until Saturday, with the first use scheduled for Sunday October 22nd.
The renovations delayed the ice season for user groups. However the ice season will not be extended past the normal end of March run.
“The ice season will end as normal,” said Macpherson. “It is expensive and there is no identified need to go past the end of March.”
“There will be no restrictions on the use of the ice pad when the ice is not in,” said Macpherson. “It was designed with the understanding that it would be used off season for shows and other events.”
The South Dundas Chamber of Commerce hosts its annual spring trade show in April at the arena after the ice has been removed.
South Dundas will be holding an official unveiling of the project October 20th with officials from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, MPP Jim McDonnell, council and staff.