Estimated cost of Sunderland arena renovations jumps to more than $6.9 million

The estimated cost of renovations to the Sunderland Memorial Arena has swelled to more than $6.9 million.

That figure forms part of a comprehensive report from Works Director Nick Colucci that is included on the agenda for Monday’s (April 8) meeting of the parks and recreation committee.

Proposed by the village’s Lions Club, which has offered up $500,000 for the project, the renovations were previously estimated at $3.9 million.

The estimate includes an expansion of the Ice surface to a size of 200-feet by 80-feet, new boards and glass, two new accessible changerooms, four new changerooms, additional storage rooms, upgrades to the refrigeration system and renovations to the front lobby and washrooms.

The estimate for the renovations in Sunderland includes more than $1.8 million worth of improvements to the building shell.

For the sake of comparison, Colucci’s report notes that a community in Saskatchewan recently constructed a brand-new steel building for less than $1 million.

Township council has yet to make a firm commitment to the project, despite a request from the Lions Club, but the possibility of landing a grant from the provincial and federal governments has been discussed extensively.

In a social media post, Ward 5 Councillor Lynn Campbell – one of the project’s biggest proponents in recent years – noted that the application period is expected to open later this year.

“If successful, 73 percent of the Sunderland arena renovation project could be paid for through these grants. Brock Township is all ready with detailed construction drawings,” the post reads.

“An option is using development charges to fund our portion of this project, in whole or in part. Plus, we have the generous half-million commitment from the Sunderland Lions Club. Either way, it should not be necessary to use your tax dollars.”

While that remains an option, the estimated cost has given some members of council reason for pause.

In an interview, Ward 1 Councillor Mike Jubb suggested that a public meeting be held prior to council deciding to proceed with the project.

“I think this needs to be thought through and not rushed into. Nearly $7 million is an eye-opener and brings the whole arena issue back to light,” he said.

“I feel that consultation in the form of a public meeting is required as soon as possible. It isn’t that I am not in favour of fixing up the Sunderland arena. I believe it deserves it, we just must also remember that we have two other arenas and careful thought and consideration needs to be put into this whole plan.”

To access the report, click HERE.

The Brock Voice has reached out to other members of council for comment on the report, as well as the Sunderland Lions Club, but has yet to receive a response.

Check back for more information when it becomes available.

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