BY ZACHARY CORMIER
Renovations at the new Gary Moe Auto Group Sportsplex are on schedule and on budget, according to officials.
According to City of Lacombe staff and Lacombe Mayor Steve Christie, although the project will continue through 2017, the majority of the renovations should be completed by the New Year.
“I just toured the arena renovations here last week and I think they’re coming along just great,” said Christie when asked about the project, which began this past April and includes the addition of new dressing rooms as well as extensive upgrades to the main and upper floor lobbies of the building.
“The dressing rooms are in great shape. I know they’re painting and doing finishing touches in there. The lobby is looking incredible. I can’t wait to see it open and full of people and hockey going on where we can use the entire building.”
A timeline on the City of Lacombe’s RecRenos web site projected the main floor and upper floor washrooms, the main floor lobby and the dressing room additions would be completed by the week of Dec. 5th and, Christie said that date should still be accurate and those areas should be open in time for the Lacombe Generals’ Dec. 9th home opener.
Meanwhile the upper floor lobby is expected to be completed by the week of Dec. 15th, with the main doors of the facility opening the week of Jan. 22nd.
“We had some setbacks in the front lobby here a few months ago but from the reinstated time, absolutely I can see everything opening when it should. I know there are some inspections with regards to codes and some deficiency inspections coming up here next week and whatever is found there will be taken care of and the areas that are able to be used will be used,” he said, adding there is still some work to be done in regards to renovations on existing dressing rooms and widening the hallway between the new dressing rooms and the stands, but those will be completed over the summer.
“We’re nearing the finish line for construction this year. Once we get things open here, the front lobby and the dressing rooms, and get them into use it’ll be nothing but enjoyment for the remainder of this hockey season.”
The project is also expected to be completed at or slightly under Lacombe City council’s approved budget, said Planning and Operations Director Matthew Goudy in an email.
Christie said it is important to have new expansions up and running as soon as possible.
“We’re not doing it for any other reason but the enjoyment and the pleasure of the user groups. It will enhance the experience of other teams coming and playing here in Lacombe and for fans and for parents and watchers all alike. So we are very excited about the end of this project and can’t wait to see the end of it.”