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West Hants council moves forward with $14.6 million arena concept, selects Lindsay Construction for build

Artistic renderings showing Lindsay Construction’s proposal for the West Hants Sports Complex.
Artistic renderings showing Lindsay Construction’s proposal for the West Hants Sports Complex. - Contributed

Arena to highlight hockey’s roots: developer

WENTWORTH CREEK, N.S. —

West Hants council has an idea of what the new sports complex, which includes an ice surface and soccer field, is going to look like and cost, after a special session of Committee of the Whole, held mostly in-camera.

Following a public presentation from two proponents, Lindsay Construction and Roscoe Construction, council passed a motion to move ahead with Lindsay’s proposal, slated at $14.6 million. That motion passed 5-3, with two councillors absent.

The motion still needs to be approved by West Hants Council on March 12.

The project is approximately $2.6 million over West Hants’ initial budget for a $12 million sport complex to service the region, but Warden Abraham Zebian said they intend to work with Lindsay to bring costs down.

“The fundraising committee is confident in their ability to raise substantial additional funds,” Zebian said.

“If/when a project is formally passed by council, I’m certain council will be looking to work with the successful contractor to find efficiencies in reducing the costs of the build without sacrificing elements the community is looking forward to,” he added. “Value for dollar is always council’s top priority on any project.”

Artistic renderings showing Lindsay Construction’s proposal for the West Hants Sports Complex.
Artistic renderings showing Lindsay Construction’s proposal for the West Hants Sports Complex.

West Hants council also needs to finalize the purchase of land from the Windsor Agricultural Society.

And the municipality is not alone on this project.

The federal government announced in December that they would contribute $4.4 million towards the complex, with the province throwing in $3.6 million.

The Town of Windsor previously committed $1 million spread out five years towards the facility.

The municipality also requested an additional $800,000 from the town to put towards the soccer component, but Windsor council has yet to decide on the ask. The request will be brought forward at budget deliberations later this year.

The Municipality of West Hants is on the hook for any shortfall in funding but is planning to fundraise aggressively to make up the difference.

There were two motions immediately following the special committee of the whole session on Feb. 19, which included more than three hours of in-camera discussions.

The first motion was to recommend Roscoe Construction’s proposal for the facility. Two councillors voted in favour — Tanya Leopold and David Keith and six voted against — Zebian, Deputy Warden Paul Morton, and councillors Kathy Monroe, Debbie Francis, Jennifer Daniels and Randy Hussey.

The second motion recommended Lindsay Construction’s proposal. Zebian and councillors Monroe, Francis, Daniels and Hussey were in favour; Morton, Keith and Leopold were opposed.

Roscoe’s project scored slightly better with the municipality’s RFP criteria, mainly because their project was estimated to cost a little more than $14 million.

Councillors Rupert Jannasch and Robbie Zwicker were both absent from the meeting.

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Zebian said there he’s confident there will be further discussion on the motion at the next committee of the whole meeting on Feb. 26, before it’s formally voted on at the March 12 council meeting.

He added that the Windsor West Hants Co-ordinating Committee, which is overseeing the consolidation of the two municipal units, will not have to approve the project, as the commitment to fund the construction of the rink was started before the consolidation process begun.

The Valley Journal-Advertiser has reached out to Kevin Latimer, the transition coordinator, to verify this. This story will be updated pending his response.

Lindsay Construction proposal

In a bit of an unorthodox fashion, during a special committee of the whole meeting on Feb. 14, West Hants council heard two presentations from two of the four bidders on the municipality’s RFP for a planned sports complex project.

Representatives of both Lindsay Construction and Roscoe Construction were looking for West Hants to show them some love on Valentines Day, each taking approximately 60 minutes to lay out their plans.

Lindsay’s design, the project West Hants is moving forward with, houses both an NHL-sized ice surface and soccer pitch under one roof, facing Wentworth Road.

An overhead look of where Lindsay Construction's proposed West Hants Sports Complex would be located.
An overhead look of where Lindsay Construction's proposed West Hants Sports Complex would be located.

Their design places a walking track along the top of the hockey arena, above 500 spectator seats. There’s also a planned standing spectator area along the top rim.

The building is also slated to be LEED certified, using energy efficient techniques, including capturing the heat from the ice plant for heating common areas and seating areas.

The design also incorporates other amenities like a warm room, capacity for eight dressing rooms and more. Those details are subject to change as the municipality works with Lindsay through the design process.

Andy Knowles, the regional director of Lindsay Construction, said he was excited about the possibilities with this project, adding that his roots in the community go deep — having played hockey both in Windsor and Brooklyn as a youth.

The overall impression of the building’s façade is a tilted L-shape, to give the impression of a hockey stick.

Knowles said they want the facility to reflect the region’s hockey heritage.

“This is the birthplace of hockey and this is an arena that will showcase that,” Knowles said.

Knowles added that the site, near the existing Hants County Exhibition Arena, isn’t perfect, but said they’ve taken that into account, including repositioning the building’s location.

“It’s not exactly the perfect site to build the building on,” he said. “The geotechnical report identified some information on what we need to deal with.”

There’s also accommodation set aside for 130 parking spaces.

Roscoe Construction design

Kevin Roscoe, president of Roscoe Construction, said that he’s never presented a design proposal in front of council the same night as an opponent showed off their concept.

“It was certainly an interesting situation, but we were pleased to present and it was nice to see our opponent’s proposal as well,” Roscoe said following the presentation on Feb. 14. “There were some similarities and some differences with a different spin on the overall design.”

Roscoe noted that while both companies presented a somewhat similar design, there were some key differences.

Artistic renderings showing Roscoe Construction’s proposal for the West Hants Sports Complex.
Artistic renderings showing Roscoe Construction’s proposal for the West Hants Sports Complex.

Roscoe’s project placed the walking track on the soccer side of the facility and positioned the entrance of the sports complex on Centennial Drive.

“For a facility that is so important the community, each contractor puts their own spin on a design, to try to put their best effort and best ideas forward,” he said. “I think we both did that here this evening.”

Roscoe Construction also worked on the rebuild of the Newport and District Arena in Brooklyn.

Following the presentation from both construction firms, the warden said council wanted to make sure the public was part of the process so that people would be aware of the increased price tag.

“Council has decided to narrow this down to the two projects that we’ve seen tonight. They’re very similar in scope and price, but there are differences between the two,” Zebian said. “When you’re looking through an RFP, it’s not the same thing as a builder explaining the project, so we felt that was important for council to make its decision on this.”

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