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West Hants arena design subcommittee finalizing RFP for multi-million dollar sports complex

An artistic rendering of a proposed arena project at the Hants County Exhibition grounds that West Hants council will vote whether or not to approve on Aug. 21
An artistic rendering of a proposed arena project at the Hants County Exhibition grounds. This is not the final design. - Contributed

WENTWORTH CREEK, N.S. — The subcommittee tackling the design aspect of a $12 million sports complex in Windsor has nearly completed their request for proposals (RFP) application, which potential contractors will bid on.

West Hants Coun. Tanya Leopold, who chairs the subcommittee, said she’s happy with how the process is proceeding so far on the project that will include an ice surface, walking track and indoor soccer field.

“Some of the items we wanted to nail down included the walking track, terminology, so that it’s consistent throughout,” Leopold said.

On Nov. 19, the subcommittee voted to increase the walking track to a minimum of 12 feet wide, with two lanes.

A flood mitigation study, which is necessary because the property, on the Hants County Exhibition grounds, is considered dykeland, is underway now and is expected to be completed soon.

“It’s been fairly expedient, only because a lot of time was spent at the beginning tied up with ownership issues, and I’m talking about years of flip-flopping all over the place,” Leopold said, referring to Windsor’s previous attempt to build an arena at Long Pond. “But I feel that we have really engaged citizen members.”

Leopold said she’s not worried about the financial aspect of the project, saying she is confident that the province and federal government will follow through with contributions.

“With our fundraising, we never like to hold them to a number,” she said. “We’re trying to hit a $12 million cap now, which completely excludes fundraising.”

Public input

Leopold said she expects public input on the facility’s design to get underway in earnest once a contractor comes forward with a design proposal — after the RFP is awarded.

“They’ll provide us with artistic renderings. What we have now are purely conceptual drawings,” she said. “Because we’re at the RFP stage, this isn’t the prime opportunity for the public to make those suggestions because we can’t accommodate all of those.”

The RFP is heading out on Dec. 1.

Members of the subcommittee have been touring other facilities around the region that fit, generally, within West Hants’ budget and scope, including the Kings Mutual Century Centre in Berwick,which was highlighted for its modern design.

All decisions made by the West Hants Sports Complex Design Committee will need to be voted on by West Hants council.

The next design committee meeting is scheduled for Nov. 27 at 2 p.m.

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