Working on the new Smithers arena.

Working on the new Smithers arena.

New arena delayed a month

The new arena in Smithers will open at least a month late after council gave a month-long extension to builders.

Construction on the new Smithers arena has been delayed. Town council approved an extension without penalty for the builders to halloween.

C&M development requested an extension to Nov. 14, but council decided on the compromised date at the end of October with the option to charge a $500 per day penalty for any further delay on the availability of the second sheet of ice.

The penalty in the original contract was to apply after the intended opening date at the end of September.

“There was some issues with Hydro’s right of way and that kind of delayed things with the condenser,” explained deputy mayor Frank Wray.

The condenser had to be relocated because of a BC Hydro transformer. A council document pointed out that, “the experienced design-build consultants were aware of the issues and are familiar with BC Hydro and code requirements and should have addressed the issues sooner.”

The document also said most of the new arena programs would be starting up by the end of October, creating a loss of revenue if the ice was not ready by Oct. 31.

The cost of the $4.7 million project is not going to change because of the delay according to Wray, adding council is happy with C&M. Smithers company Timber Peak Construction was contracted by C&M to help build the arena.

“We’ve had a very good working relationship with C&M. It’s been very good so far and I don’t see why it wouldn’t continue to be,” said Wray.

Acting chief administrative officer Susan Bassett said the town was prepared for a possible late start.

“At this point it will have no impact on programming,” said Bassett.

School hockey academies can adjust if needed according to Bassett. Any other programs that start in October will be scheduled to run in the old sheet at Smithers Civic Arena.

Ice making in the new arena is now scheduled to start on Oct. 10.


Smithers Interior News