One of the top experts in major arena projects in Canada is coming to speak in Charlottetown.
Jonathan Hack with Toronto-based Sierra Planning and Management will make a presentation before the city’s strategic priorities and intergovernmental co-operation committee on Tuesday at City Hall.
“Apparently, he is the guru of multi-purpose facilities,’’ said Coun. Alanna Jankov, chairwoman of the strategic priorities and intergovernmental co-operation committee.
Hack is the consultant who worked with the Charlottetown task force which recommended in December 2017 that the city develop a 5,000-seat multi-use sports and event centre. The report calls for a facility capable of hosting major national events and more frequent regional scale sport and non-sport events.
The arena is to be comprised of a main spectator seating bowl and ice surface as well as a second NHL-size ice surface dedicated for use by the community with seating in the 400 to 500 range.
The report draws comparisons with the 5,800-seat Silverstein Eye Centres Arena and Centrepoint Community Ice Rink in Independence, Miss. It was built at a cost of just over $51 million in 2008.
“We happened to find out that Jon Hack is coming to town next week, and he was the lead consultant on that task force, so we thought it was a good opportunity to invite him into my committee to kind of bring us up to speed on the options of this multi-purpose facility.
“That’s really all it is, for me to gain some information on it, because it's all new to me,’’ said Jankov, who is one of two rookie councillors elected in the November vote.
The report also deals with the situation at the Simmons and Cody Banks arenas. The city has said both are near the end of their lifespan, especially Simmons.
Wayne Long, events development officer with the city, said Sierra Planning and Management was engaged by the task force and partnered with MacPherson Roche Smith, now Grant Thornton LLP.
“The task force engaged them to conduct some work on their behalf so the task force had Sierra Planning and Management attend many of the meetings in person or by call-in,’’ Long said. “They also led a mission to Ontario at the time to look at a number of other buildings, which Coun. (Mitchell) Tweel and myself were a part of.’’
Long said Tuesday’s meeting will be an overview of the proposed project.
Council formally received the report at its January public meeting. This inches things along ever so slightly.
“In a project like this, there are many processes and many layers, and I would say this is just another step in the process. There will be many, many more meetings and more discussions. There will be lots of thought put into this.’’