A recent engineering report shows that the Ponoka Culture and Recreation Complex is in decent shape despite the need for a new ice plant.
Built in 1976, the arena houses two ice rinks, one larger than the other, the curling rink and an upstairs portion along with change rooms and a lounge.
The study, conducted by RPM Consulting Services, provided to the town in April shows that the biggest issue the town faces is an aging ice plant estimated to cost $555,500 to replace approximately 60 per cent of the total deficiency costs outlined in the study. Among the items recommended for replacement are the heat exchangers, pumps, compressors, chillers and condensers for both ice surfaces.
The study estimates those components need to be dealt with over the course of 10 years at a total cost of $944,950, the ice plant within five years, with a recommended preventative maintenance system.
“It is also recommended that if they are not already in place, that standing offer agreements be set up with key maintenance providers (electrical, plumbing, HVAC, Ice Plant, etc.) to set up a system of annual inspections and reporting of issues and an action plan to correct them,” states the concluding report of the study.
Other areas at the arena that need to be addressed are replacement of the water line and sanitary lines due to age, repaving the entire surface of the parking lot, repainting the light poles and the storm drainage to be recalculated.
Despite these issues, the overall assessment received a relatively positive review. “With the exception of the items identified, the facility and its systems are generally in good condition taking into consideration their age and usage. This is a credit to the town for maintaining and operating the facility and its systems beyond their expected useful lives,” states the report.
The roof structure does need some maintenance with variety of servicing needs such as snow rakes and sealant, however, the overall condition of the two roofs appear in decent condition.
There are some issues of safety identified in the report, which include broken exterior plugs, the need for evacuation maps, a door closer for one of the mechanical rooms, a vestibule in the mechanical room to be put up to safety standards and some concern about the potential of asbestos in a few areas of the flooring.
The arena is an important piece of infrastructure for the town’s future plans to develop a multi-use facility on the same site. Part of an overlying Culture and Recreation Master Plan, the current spaces in the building would be repurposed for other uses while a new arena space and curling rink is laid out.
In the recreation plan compiled by McElhanney Consulting, a concept design proposes a fitness centre, aquaplex, indoor playground and skate park as well as a field house and walking track are all potential amenities to be expanded onto the existing arena site.
A timetable set in the plan recommends a new pool built by 2019. A new library, arts centre and public plaza built by 2022 — town planners are in the process of looking into a new civic centre and town hall at the old hospital site — and an event arena and repurposing of the current arena by 2025.
The arena is approximately 6,625 square meters (71.295 square feet)
It houses a lobby and seating area
Six sheet curling rink with lounge
Two indoor sheets for hockey and skating, one larger than the other
Two racquetball courts, one of which is marked with squash lines accessible on the southwest side of the building
In 2010 the lobby and public washrooms were expanded and player rooms constructed on the north side of the building as well as a viewing area for the smaller ice surface
There is also a a lease space in the north side of the building on the second floor