North Battleford City Hall is moving ahead with long-term plans to replace the aging North Battleford Civic Centre.
Council approved hiring Saskatoon firm Group 2 Architecture Interior Design Ltd. to prepare a study for the proposed new arena at a cost of $21,810.
The city allocated $50,000 from its general reserve in its 2017 budget for the study.
The study will include preliminary renderings for the design of the new building and estimated costs to construct the structure.
“There are lots of questions to answer about the project,” Mayor Ryan Bater said. “This study will hopefully answer a lot of those questions and provide some alternatives and other options for council to consider. The Civic Centre is a very important facility in this city. It serves a lot of people and it is part of our ability to attract major events as well. So the replacement of it is something we have to plan very carefully.”
Some options for the location of the new site as well as a review of the useful life of the existing building will also be included in the study.
Bater said in 2014 the Civic Centre was identified as having about 10 years of useful life left. The city managed to extend that life by making some upgrades, however at some point the building will need to be replaced.
Council previously created a committee with representation from groups that use the building, to hear their thoughts and determine future needs.
This is the next phase,” Bater said. “We are going to be engaging a firm to do a study on needs and to talk about some conceptual renderings and what we're likely looking at cost-wise so that we can start planning. This is not a whole design but this is meant to provide a bit of a road-map in terms of costing and timelines.”
He said as a major capital project for the future, there will be a fundraising effort to support the build of the new facility as well.
City manager Jim Puffalt said in his report that stakeholders will be involved in the process of the build from the start. The work will start in Jan. 2018.
Puffalt said the project will be extensive, with a rough estimated cost of $30 million. The aim is for construction to start around 2030.
The city will also need to complete a 20-year infrastructure plan and debt limits for the project.
The new facility is expected to be more modern and multi-purpose than the existing site.
It would have an NHL-sized rink as part of the plans to create two arenas — a larger arena with 3,000-seating capacity, and a smaller arena with a 600-seating capacity, in the proposal. The facility would also have summer-ice use.
The new facility is expected to be for local, provincial, national and international sports events, as well as for a concert venue.
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