The Halifax Regional Municipality is requesting preliminary designs for two new multi-ice surface arenas in the area.

One is planned for Dartmouth, the other will be located in peninsular Halifax. Specific locations have not yet been chosen.

About 60 per cent of Halifax rinks are more than 30 years old.

Betty Lou Killem, a facilities planner with the municipality, said there are a number of possible partners for the HRM rinks.

"One of those [is a] potential partnership with the universities, Dalhousie and St. Mary’s University — and so we’re working with them. Partnerships are tremendous opportunities to meet more than one need in the community with co-operative capital. The board at the forum commission has also made a proposal to us," she said.

The Halifax Forum has also put together a proposal to be a possible partner.

Killem said there is a need for smaller venues in Dartmouth.

"In Dartmouth, we have the Dartmouth Sportsplex — you know, seating for 3,000 people — so we know we don't need, right now, another spectator facility of that nature," she said.

The one planned for Halifax will be slightly different. It will include a multi-purpose room and at least one rink with 1,200 seats able to accommodate university hockey games.  

"Dalhousie and St. Mary’s University have come into partnership together to talk to the province and to talk to the municipality about how a potential partnership might work for them," she said.

Killem said she expects to have a report ready for council this fall.  She said it will be up to councillors to decide if one or both facilities are added to the next budget.  

The arena in Bedford with four ice surfaces cost $34 million. Three of those rinks can seat 100, while the fourth can seat 600.