By Craig Campbell, Dundas Star News
Architects who drew up J.L. Grightmire Arena renovation plans for the Hockeyville Legacy Foundation have been secured by the City of Hamilton as design consultants for the project.
Dundas councillor Russ Powers introduced the motion to approve Invizij Architects Inc., designers of several Hamilton area recreation projects, instead of tendering the project in order to help meet a couple of big deadlines.
The project that will completely redevelop the Market Street arena’s front entrance, bringing in new change rooms, washrooms and an elevator as well as a new second floor lounge, meeting areas and Dundas Sports Wall of Fame, is targeted for completion before the April 2014 Allan Cup amateur men’s national hockey championship being hosted by the Dundas Real McCoys.
The project was submitted as part of a funding request to the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund (CIIF), which requires funded projects to be finished by March 31, 2014.
“There’s no reason why we can’t have construction before (next) season starts,” Powers said at last week’s meeting of the Dundas Community Council.
The Hockeyville Legacy Foundation is contributing $600,000 to the project, and has already received detailed drawings from Invisij Architects.
In addition, the city has requested $1-million from the CIIF while committing $1.1-million itself.
Because the Grightmire Arena renovation is listed on the city’s preliminary 2013 capital budget, it is one of several projects on the city’s CIIF request causing funding pressures explained Adam Smith, a senior financial analyst at the City of Hamilton.
“It would potentially reduce some of those pressures if an announcement were to be made prior to the December 11 (General Issues Committee) meeting,” Smith said.
He said the city has stayed in contact with FedDev Ontario since the request was made in August and was advised no timeline for an announcement was available.
A FedDev Ontario spokesperson told the Dundas Star News said applicants will be informed of the results after submissions are assessed on the degree they meet program requirements – including demonstrating an ability to complete projects by March 31, 2014. That deadline will not be extended.
Invisij Architects past projects include the Cattell Seniors Centre addition to the Dundas Lions Memorial Community Centre and renovations to the Dundas Valley School of Art.
The firm also oversaw design of the David Braley Athletics and Recreation Centre at McMaster University; reconstruction of Cayuga Arena; Westmount Recreation Centre and renovations to several area YMCA buildings.