The City of Revelstoke is taking a hard look at the Forum, which requires several upgrades and a new roof that could cost $7 million.
Last week, the city issued a request for proposals to hire a consultant to conduct a needs assessment for the arena.
“Throughout the whole discussion about the arena and the different repairs that are required, we really need to know whether the arena meets our needs before council makes a really important decision on the roof and whether we should move forward with the project or build a new facility,” said Laurie Donato, the city’s director of parks, recreation & culture.
The city is spending $70,000 on a new compressor for the arena this year and has budgeted $280,000 in capital projects for 2018, including new electrical service, flooring upgrades, and new seating.
The big one is the arena roof, which keeps getting put off and could cost anywhere from $2–7 million depending on the extend of the upgrades.
The cost of the roof has the city asking whether or not they might be better off building a new arena instead.
“I think it’s probably timely that we do this now to figure out if that facility meets the future needs of Revelstoke and then make a decision and start applying for some grants to get that work done sooner rather than later,” said Donato.
The needs assessment will look at how the arena is used and what demand might be. Donato said that right now the arena is completely booked up all winter long during the prime weekday hours from 3:30–9:30 p.m.
All stakeholder groups, such as Revelstoke Minor Hockey, the Revelstoke Skating Club and Revelstoke Roller Derby will be consulted. “The consultant will work with those user groups to determine their needs,” said Donato.
The deadline to submit a proposal to the city is Sept. 5 and Donato hopes to have a report completed by Dec. 1. The report will help council decide how to move forward with the arena.
“It’s very important for council to understand what the needs are before we commit to a decision,” said Donato.