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Two bids get in under the buzzer for Saanich arena slab replacement

Pearkes project on track, ice expected to reopen fall 2021
Saanich received two bids from companies interested in undertaking the ice slab replacement project at the G. R. Pearkes Recreation Centre. (Black Press Media file photo)

Saanich skaters are one step closer to seeing an upgraded rink at Pearkes Recreation Centre as bidding closes for a project to replace the 53-year-old ice slab in the Gold Arena.

In early February, representatives from 12 interested companies did a mandatory site visit but in the end, just two companies submitted bids: Kinetic Construction Ltd. at $1.6-million and Reward Construction Ltd. at $1.87-million. Bidding closed on Feb. 24.

Council received a staff report recommending that the selection of a company be delegated to the chief administrative officer to avoid any delays. According to the district, the original plan before the pandemic was for the rink to reopen in the fall of 2021 and the project is still on track to be completed in that timeline.

The slab was identified as needing to be replaced in Saanich’s 2018 strategic plan as the concrete slab under the ice had surpassed its life expectancy and recreation centre staff had identified cracks.

The project – allotted $2.6-million from Saanich’s capital budget – began with the Gold Arena being closed in the spring of 202 to allow the permafrost under the slab to melt so it could later be removed and replaced. The Green Arena and other recreation facilities on site weren’t impacted.

At the time, Graham Thomson, Pearkes manager, acknowledged the closure would be upsetting for various user groups. However, he emphasized waiting could have resulted in the slab failing and compromising the foundation for the entire facility.

The slab replacement is among a series of upgrades scheduled for the Gold Arena. Saanich plans to replace the ice melt pit, elevator, rink boards and glass, nets and flooring.