The look and design of Minden’s arena is taken shape.

The community centre portion of the S.G. Nesbitt Memorial Arena was filled to capacity for the township, as well as MacDonald Brothers Construction and Parkin Architecture to show the taxpayers what they had collectively been working on for three years.

According to Parkin’s representative Mario Pastoni, the initial RFP that MacDonald Brothers Construction put in had the cost of the renovations being $12.2 million. Now further into the design process, Pastoni says the cost is now closer to $11.9 million. Pastoni explains, that Parkin, Minden Hills and MacDonald Brothers all have “skin in the game.”

Crowds gathering to discuss the arena renovations

Minden Hills Treasurer and Chief Adminstrative Officer, Lorrie Blanchard, says that taxpayers could see an increase of $30 to $40 in 2019 and than another $30 to $40 in 2020 as a result of the township paying for the renovations. Blanchard did note that there is still a lot of variables but based her numbers on a home worth $300,000.

Pastoni explains the near $12 million price tag includes the complete tear down and replacement of the rink portion of the arena. Pastoni says the arena has had several reports over the years that suggest the foundation of the building has chloride in it, as well there had been “bad building practices” when the building was constructed in the 80s.

Although the construction is not expected to start until April of next year, Minden Hills Mayor, Brent Devolin, and Pastoni both suggest the arena has reached a critical point and the renovations need to happen for the building to be around for future generations.

After the plans for the arena were shown, Devolin and the other parties involved fielded questions and concerns from the crowd. Devolin says the decision to not build a pool instead was something they looked at in length, but ultimately the cost of running a pool cost more in the long run than the arena renovations.

According to the info presented, the arena should be open for the 2020 ice season.