Stadium on schedule

Darrell Cole
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Facility expected to be ready for start of hockey season

AMHERST - The Amherst Stadium will have a much different look when fans and players start using the building in just over a month.

Stadium on schedule

AMHERST - The Amherst Stadium will have a much different look when fans and players start using the building in just over a month.

The second phase of a three-phase renovation project is rapidly coming to a conclusion and the stadium should be ready for the commencement of the 2007-08 hockey season in mid-September.

"The renovations are progressing well and I don't see any reason why we shouldn't be ready for the Ramblers home opener on Sept. 15," Community and Economic Development director Roger MacIsaac said during a tour of the project. "It has gone well without any glitches, which is a credit to staff and the contractors involved in this project."

The second phase, announced earlier this year, included laying a new cement pad for the ice surface along with associated electrical and mechanical work. It also included the installation of new glass and boards around the ice surface.

The mechanical side of the project includes three new natural gas-fired boilers as well as a new water tank and a heat recovery system.

MacIsaac said the ice plant will be turned on later this week to begin making ice for the season but also to make sure there aren't any problems, considering there are 22 kilometres of new pipe, including brine and heating pipes, under the new concrete slab.

While work on the inside is beginning to wrap up, crews are continuing to install a new metal roof on the building and tenders close next week on the third, and final, phase of the project that includes realigning the front end of the building with a new canteen, heated room, offices and lounge area as well as new walking track around the stadium's interior.

"We have a tender out for phase three as well as a site visit for interested parties. Once the tenders close we'll review the bids and make a bid to council probably within a week," MacIsaac said.

"Hopefully we'll get some bids that are reasonable and ones we can afford. If not, we'll have to rethink where we're going."

If all goes well, demolition of the front end will begin in early September with construction beginning soon after that with a completion date in late December.

"We know there's going to be some inconvenience for a few months but by Jan. 1 we should a pretty new looking arena," he said.

Geographic location: Amherst Stadium

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