City won’t mothball arena

By NUNATSIAQ NEWS

Iqaluit councillors won’t mothball the Arctic Winter Games arena, or turn the sinking building into a heavy equipment parking lot and storage bin for the city’s old paperwork.

Those were all options on the table when councillors met during a meeting on Friday last week. However, they concluded that costs outweighed benefits in each case.

Closing the building would require the city to move the youth centre, located in the arena, into a new location, such as the curling rink, which would have to be closed and renovated.

Refitting the AWG arena as a parking lot and archive space would also cost the city money, and they’d still be locked into contracts for maintenance work done to keep the arena running.

Councillors first considered mothballing the arena in order to avoid increasing taxes this year. Although they agreed to do nothing, Coun. Glenn Williams said the meeting proved council had “done due diligence.”

The city has no plans to re-open the arena, which consultants estimate could cost $750,000 to permanently fix. That would involve building a new foundation supported by metal posts. The building rests on a soupy mess of mud and rock, which has caused it to sink unevenly for years.

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