Iqaluit’s AWG arena closer to getting year-round ice
Council approves $100,000 more for new insulation
Iqaluit’s Arctic Winter Games arena may eventually get a year-round ice surface.
Iqaluit city council voted on March 22 to approve new insulation for the arena floor that will allow the building to have ice all year if further modifications are eventually made.
The city’s director of recreation, Amy Elgersma, and the director of engineering and sustainability, Meagan Leach, had asked city council for about $100,000 to pay Nunavut Excavating for the upgrade.
The money is to come out of a building reserve fund that the city pays into every year within its annual budget.
Leach said the new work will not affect the present repairs underway, due to be completed this June.
During the presentation to council, some councilors said they were surprised to hear the AWG was not already planned as a 12-month ice facility.
The AWG will still need upgraded refrigeration and dehumidification systems to operate year-round. That’s a separate project that may come up in the future.
At today’s prices, the components for this equipment would cost roughly another quarter-million dollars, not including labour and freight, Elgersma said.
The previous council decided that they did not want to pay for such an upgrade, and expected that AWG would serve other, non-ice functions in summer.
Council members grilled Elgersma and Leach about whether there would be any more unexpected costs produced by the AWG.
Leach said that because renovations are underway, now is the perfect time to install insulation.
Construction crews are installing more than 100 piles for foundation below the arena floor, all the way to the bedrock to keep the floor from collapsing into the unstable permafrost.
Part of the insulation is already available in town, but the rest has to be flown in, Leach said.
Leach and Elgersma told council if they want a four-season AWG they could not defer the decision without spending a lot more money.
If they choose, at a later date, to upgrade the arena to 12-month capability, construction crews would have to rip out the floor again, at additional cost.
Elgersma said she would apply for GN funding to pay for up to a third of the cost of the insulation upgrade.
Also, in May the recreation department plans a sponsorship campaign to sell billboard and ice space for corporate logos, and possible naming rights.
Councillors David Ell, Jimmy Kilabuk, Natsiq Kango, Simon Nattaq, Romeyn Stevenson and Mary Wilman voted in favour.
Councillor Mat Knicklebein voted against.
Mayor Elisapee Sheutiapik and Mary Akpalialuk were not at the meeting.