Dundas J.L. Grightmire Arena prepares for Grand Re-Opening

News Aug 30, 2019 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

When the City of Hamilton took over the J.L. Grightmire Arena site from contractor Century Group in June, after nearly two years of construction delays on a three-level addition, local municipal departments and staff came together to finish remaining work — and add a few extra touches.

Hamilton director of facilities management Rome D’Angelo said the flurry of effort the last few weeks was inspirational.

“We all came together as a group, as a team. There were no silos,” D’Angelo said, Thursday Aug. 29 as he walked through the nearly completed arena as it finally prepared for public use — and a Saturday, Sept. 14 grand reopening highlighted by the free Dundas Blues Junior Hockey Club 60th season home opener at 2 p.m.

“We had so much activity in the last three months. It was unprecedented, you could say.”

D’Angelo acknowledged it’s been a long, frustrating stretch for many impacted, as the project scheduled to be completed by September 2018 carried on with delays, mistakes and arguments for another year, forcing users out for two full seasons.

“But now that it’s here, I feel comfortable everyone in the hockey community will be impressed,” D’Angelo said.

He said the city has added unplanned facelifts to the old section of the arena — which includes the rink itself — on top of the new addition and its features: including a large open front lobby, new lower-level dressing rooms, new washrooms, a third floor Hockeyville community room, several new viewing areas, an elevator and stairways connecting all three levels.

A brand-new ice plant in the cavernous bowels of the arena is a significant piece of new infrastructure that was not part of the original project.

New boards around the ice, some new doors, additional landscaping, roof repairs and plenty of new paint are among other additions.

“We felt we owed it to the community to give a facelift to the old part of the building,” D’Angelo said.

A patio-like area between the arena and Dundas Little Theatre’s Garstin Centre for the Arts next door was upgraded from planned asphalt to concrete — and a concrete walkway extended around the theatre building.

“We owed it to the theatre group to upgrade it,” D’Angelo said. “It’s well worth the cost. It’s cleaner and more inviting.”

The area between the two buildings was a fenced-off construction site for much of the last two years, blocking access to the theatre’s main entrance and hurting the volunteer group’s gate receipts.

Dundas Little Theatre treasurer Peter Lloyd said D’Angelo has been proactive in dealing with the group’s concerns, calling it “quite a change from the days where the contractors were in charge of the arena site.”

Lloyd confirmed city staff have spruced-up the building’s exterior — painting the wood in two new colours and replacing the front door.

He said the last two years have been tough for DLT. It invested $16,000 in the city-owned building while coping with audience loss. Lloyd said the first show last season was most affected and drew half the audience expected.

“That’s a loss in revenue of about $7,000 on one show alone,” he said. “It’s hard to make investments in the facility with fiscal performances like that.”

The 2019-2020 season opens Oct. 25, with a fresh look and optimism.

“As DLT enters its 60th year, we now have a new front door that opens not onto the mud of a construction site, but in welcome to our audiences both current and future,” Lloyd said.

The priority at Grightmire Thursday was finishing handrails and glass railings on two main staircases on the north and south sides of the addition, leading up to the new second floor Hockeyville community room and side viewing areas.

“It looks great,” said Dundas Blues president Steve Aglor, who was busy readying the junior club’s locker-room. “Visiting teams will have the best (dressing) rooms in the league. When they come in, they’ll be impressed.”

He said the club is excited to be back in its home arena, celebrating its 60th anniversary season.

At times, while moving around to several different temporary locations the past two seasons, Aglor thought the Blues would fold before the arena opened and never reach the 60th season.

But Thursday, he called the new Grightmire Arena “not only the best facility in Hamilton, but throughout our entire league.”

He said the Provincial Junior Hockey League is the toughest hockey title to win in Ontario — with 63 teams across the province competing in eight divisions. But he said winning that Ontario title is the club’s goal this season.

“Our general manager Mike Spadafora has been working hard to put the best team we can on the ice,” Aglor said. “We are hoping the community all come out for our home opener and continue to support us through the season.”

D’Angelo said he couldn’t comment on a settlement with Century Group that is expected to give the city a “financial credit … for incomplete or deficient works” because negotiations are ongoing and confidential.

 

Dundas J.L. Grightmire Arena prepares for Grand Re-Opening

Grand opening Sept. 14 will wow visitors, says Blues president, as they mark team's 60th anniversary

News Aug 30, 2019 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

When the City of Hamilton took over the J.L. Grightmire Arena site from contractor Century Group in June, after nearly two years of construction delays on a three-level addition, local municipal departments and staff came together to finish remaining work — and add a few extra touches.

Hamilton director of facilities management Rome D’Angelo said the flurry of effort the last few weeks was inspirational.

“We all came together as a group, as a team. There were no silos,” D’Angelo said, Thursday Aug. 29 as he walked through the nearly completed arena as it finally prepared for public use — and a Saturday, Sept. 14 grand reopening highlighted by the free Dundas Blues Junior Hockey Club 60th season home opener at 2 p.m.

“We had so much activity in the last three months. It was unprecedented, you could say.”

Related Content

D’Angelo acknowledged it’s been a long, frustrating stretch for many impacted, as the project scheduled to be completed by September 2018 carried on with delays, mistakes and arguments for another year, forcing users out for two full seasons.

“But now that it’s here, I feel comfortable everyone in the hockey community will be impressed,” D’Angelo said.

He said the city has added unplanned facelifts to the old section of the arena — which includes the rink itself — on top of the new addition and its features: including a large open front lobby, new lower-level dressing rooms, new washrooms, a third floor Hockeyville community room, several new viewing areas, an elevator and stairways connecting all three levels.

A brand-new ice plant in the cavernous bowels of the arena is a significant piece of new infrastructure that was not part of the original project.

New boards around the ice, some new doors, additional landscaping, roof repairs and plenty of new paint are among other additions.

“We felt we owed it to the community to give a facelift to the old part of the building,” D’Angelo said.

A patio-like area between the arena and Dundas Little Theatre’s Garstin Centre for the Arts next door was upgraded from planned asphalt to concrete — and a concrete walkway extended around the theatre building.

“We owed it to the theatre group to upgrade it,” D’Angelo said. “It’s well worth the cost. It’s cleaner and more inviting.”

The area between the two buildings was a fenced-off construction site for much of the last two years, blocking access to the theatre’s main entrance and hurting the volunteer group’s gate receipts.

Dundas Little Theatre treasurer Peter Lloyd said D’Angelo has been proactive in dealing with the group’s concerns, calling it “quite a change from the days where the contractors were in charge of the arena site.”

Lloyd confirmed city staff have spruced-up the building’s exterior — painting the wood in two new colours and replacing the front door.

He said the last two years have been tough for DLT. It invested $16,000 in the city-owned building while coping with audience loss. Lloyd said the first show last season was most affected and drew half the audience expected.

“That’s a loss in revenue of about $7,000 on one show alone,” he said. “It’s hard to make investments in the facility with fiscal performances like that.”

The 2019-2020 season opens Oct. 25, with a fresh look and optimism.

“As DLT enters its 60th year, we now have a new front door that opens not onto the mud of a construction site, but in welcome to our audiences both current and future,” Lloyd said.

The priority at Grightmire Thursday was finishing handrails and glass railings on two main staircases on the north and south sides of the addition, leading up to the new second floor Hockeyville community room and side viewing areas.

“It looks great,” said Dundas Blues president Steve Aglor, who was busy readying the junior club’s locker-room. “Visiting teams will have the best (dressing) rooms in the league. When they come in, they’ll be impressed.”

He said the club is excited to be back in its home arena, celebrating its 60th anniversary season.

At times, while moving around to several different temporary locations the past two seasons, Aglor thought the Blues would fold before the arena opened and never reach the 60th season.

But Thursday, he called the new Grightmire Arena “not only the best facility in Hamilton, but throughout our entire league.”

He said the Provincial Junior Hockey League is the toughest hockey title to win in Ontario — with 63 teams across the province competing in eight divisions. But he said winning that Ontario title is the club’s goal this season.

“Our general manager Mike Spadafora has been working hard to put the best team we can on the ice,” Aglor said. “We are hoping the community all come out for our home opener and continue to support us through the season.”

D’Angelo said he couldn’t comment on a settlement with Century Group that is expected to give the city a “financial credit … for incomplete or deficient works” because negotiations are ongoing and confidential.

 

Dundas J.L. Grightmire Arena prepares for Grand Re-Opening

Grand opening Sept. 14 will wow visitors, says Blues president, as they mark team's 60th anniversary

News Aug 30, 2019 by Craig Campbell Dundas Star News

When the City of Hamilton took over the J.L. Grightmire Arena site from contractor Century Group in June, after nearly two years of construction delays on a three-level addition, local municipal departments and staff came together to finish remaining work — and add a few extra touches.

Hamilton director of facilities management Rome D’Angelo said the flurry of effort the last few weeks was inspirational.

“We all came together as a group, as a team. There were no silos,” D’Angelo said, Thursday Aug. 29 as he walked through the nearly completed arena as it finally prepared for public use — and a Saturday, Sept. 14 grand reopening highlighted by the free Dundas Blues Junior Hockey Club 60th season home opener at 2 p.m.

“We had so much activity in the last three months. It was unprecedented, you could say.”

Related Content

D’Angelo acknowledged it’s been a long, frustrating stretch for many impacted, as the project scheduled to be completed by September 2018 carried on with delays, mistakes and arguments for another year, forcing users out for two full seasons.

“But now that it’s here, I feel comfortable everyone in the hockey community will be impressed,” D’Angelo said.

He said the city has added unplanned facelifts to the old section of the arena — which includes the rink itself — on top of the new addition and its features: including a large open front lobby, new lower-level dressing rooms, new washrooms, a third floor Hockeyville community room, several new viewing areas, an elevator and stairways connecting all three levels.

A brand-new ice plant in the cavernous bowels of the arena is a significant piece of new infrastructure that was not part of the original project.

New boards around the ice, some new doors, additional landscaping, roof repairs and plenty of new paint are among other additions.

“We felt we owed it to the community to give a facelift to the old part of the building,” D’Angelo said.

A patio-like area between the arena and Dundas Little Theatre’s Garstin Centre for the Arts next door was upgraded from planned asphalt to concrete — and a concrete walkway extended around the theatre building.

“We owed it to the theatre group to upgrade it,” D’Angelo said. “It’s well worth the cost. It’s cleaner and more inviting.”

The area between the two buildings was a fenced-off construction site for much of the last two years, blocking access to the theatre’s main entrance and hurting the volunteer group’s gate receipts.

Dundas Little Theatre treasurer Peter Lloyd said D’Angelo has been proactive in dealing with the group’s concerns, calling it “quite a change from the days where the contractors were in charge of the arena site.”

Lloyd confirmed city staff have spruced-up the building’s exterior — painting the wood in two new colours and replacing the front door.

He said the last two years have been tough for DLT. It invested $16,000 in the city-owned building while coping with audience loss. Lloyd said the first show last season was most affected and drew half the audience expected.

“That’s a loss in revenue of about $7,000 on one show alone,” he said. “It’s hard to make investments in the facility with fiscal performances like that.”

The 2019-2020 season opens Oct. 25, with a fresh look and optimism.

“As DLT enters its 60th year, we now have a new front door that opens not onto the mud of a construction site, but in welcome to our audiences both current and future,” Lloyd said.

The priority at Grightmire Thursday was finishing handrails and glass railings on two main staircases on the north and south sides of the addition, leading up to the new second floor Hockeyville community room and side viewing areas.

“It looks great,” said Dundas Blues president Steve Aglor, who was busy readying the junior club’s locker-room. “Visiting teams will have the best (dressing) rooms in the league. When they come in, they’ll be impressed.”

He said the club is excited to be back in its home arena, celebrating its 60th anniversary season.

At times, while moving around to several different temporary locations the past two seasons, Aglor thought the Blues would fold before the arena opened and never reach the 60th season.

But Thursday, he called the new Grightmire Arena “not only the best facility in Hamilton, but throughout our entire league.”

He said the Provincial Junior Hockey League is the toughest hockey title to win in Ontario — with 63 teams across the province competing in eight divisions. But he said winning that Ontario title is the club’s goal this season.

“Our general manager Mike Spadafora has been working hard to put the best team we can on the ice,” Aglor said. “We are hoping the community all come out for our home opener and continue to support us through the season.”

D’Angelo said he couldn’t comment on a settlement with Century Group that is expected to give the city a “financial credit … for incomplete or deficient works” because negotiations are ongoing and confidential.