Twinning Simmons, Charlottetown Curling Complex taking over Cody Banks Arena both possibilities
© Guardian photo
Rob Warren, manager Charlottetown Curling Club, relaxes in the newly renovated club's lounge.
There could be a major reshuffling of rinks in Charlottetown in the next few years.
The possible changes affect the Simmons Sport Centre, Cody Banks Arena and Charlottetown Curling Club. Right now, it's just pure speculation based on some ideas being tossed around. No decisions have been made.
For starters, the curling club is getting a new name today. Once the new sign goes up, it will be known as the Charlottetown Curling Complex, featuring a blend of curling, banquet facilities and a new family restaurant called Callbeck's Bar & Grill, named in memory of long-time bartender Don Callbeck who died suddenly three years ago.
Everything is in the preliminary stage right now but the city has talked about the idea of twinning the Simmons Sport Centre. It would feature two ice surfaces and an indoor pool under one idea.
The curling complex has also considered its options. Warren said one of the ideas they've considered is moving from its current location on Euston Street and taking over the Cody Banks Arena. That's not something the City of Charlottetown has given any thought although it is aware of the club's infrastructure challenges.
Rob Warren, manager and ice maker at the curling complex, says repairs are badly needed in the ice portion of the operation and those changes are likely going to cost in the $1 million area.
The ice plant is almost at the end of its life expectancy and will cost $300,000 to replace. The roof also needs work and that will cost another $200,000 while a new floor is required and that will run $250,000.
Essentially, the city is dealing with lots of aging infrastructure.
Public meetings have already taken place on a new master plan for Simmons. The city awaits a report from the consultants.
"We're awaiting a draft plan, if you will, from the consultant and once he presents that in November we'll have a better idea of what the expected use would be for that (Simmons arena) on a go-forward basis,'' said Sue Fraser, manager of the city's parks and recreation department.
The city also has the Eastern Gateway Plan on its plate, an ambitious long-term project that could involve a new Civic Centre, changes to the CDP, the Island Fertilizer plant and moving the Department of Transportation depot. On top of that, a new waterfront plan is in the works that involves the Charlottetown Yacht Club.
Warren said they talked to the city about options and it seems like taking over Cody Banks might make the most sense but that's pure speculation on the curling club's part at this point.
"It would depend on what kind of deal we could get to fix up (Cody Banks) because it's not, of course, curling ready,'' Warren said. "Would that be a better option than staying here and putting $1 million into the work here? That's the point we're at now. Where do we start aiming our capital investment strategy?''
Warren said regardless of what they decide, something will have to happen within the next five years.
The curling complex just finished $50,000 worth of renovations to the banquet section of the building but 75 per cent of the work can easily be moved if the club should moves to a new location.
Fraser said any decisions on what, if anything, happens to Simmons would hinge on council endorsement and infrastructure cash but Ottawa has promised infrastructure dollars will flow by 2014.
Keep in mind, however, the city is also in the midst of a major water and sewer separation project and wants to develop a new well field in the next few years, which are also priorities for the city with those infrastructure dollars.