Arena repairs ongoing, user groups hosting annual functions elsewhere

A new refrigeration plant is expected to be in place by August 1.

As the City of Fernie is still working towards the re-opening of the Fernie Memorial Arena, several user groups who usually hold their annual gatherings in the facility, will have to look elsewhere.

These gatherings include the annual Rod and Gun Club Banquet as well as Fernie Secondary School’s graduation ceremony.

When the user groups requested that they hold their annual functions in the facility this spring, the City determined that due to the scope of work that must be completed, these events will have to be moved elsewhere.

Since regaining access to the Arena in late January, contractors have mitigated safety concerns associated with the October 2017 incident. Staff and contractors are now preparing to complete repairs to the building.

“Our priority is to get the Arena up and running in time for the 2018/19 winter season and we still have a lot of work to do to achieve our goal,” said City of Fernie CAO Norm McInnis.

“We had hoped that we might be in a position to allow some of these user groups to use the facility for these annual community events, but we’ve let these groups know that unfortunately this won’t be possible without significantly impacting our timeline to get all the necessary work done to open the Arena this fall.”

The City has chosen to repair, rather than rebuild. In a statement this morning, the City said the community of Fernie can expect to see significant construction activity at the arena over the spring and summer.

A request for proposals for a new refrigeration plant has closed, and experts are reviewing the submissions. The City aims to award a contract by early April.

A new refrigeration plant is expected to be in place by August 1, with staff training to take place throughout the following month. Once this has been completed, the City says the arena will open for regular use in the fall.

The investigations into the incident at Fernie Memorial Arena are ongoing.

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