Nova Scotia

Contractors tour Halifax oval site

Municipal officials say the plan to build a permanent skating oval on the Halifax Common is moving along.

Municipal officials say the plan to build a permanent skating oval on the Halifax Common is moving along.

Officials hosted a tour for contractors at the site on Wednesday — a week before the tender closes for construction bids.

Project manager Terry Gallagher said excavators could be moving dirt around by mid-August.

"Everyone sees this as a fantastic project. Last year we only had one bidder. This year I think we had five bidders show up. So it's attracting a lot of attention," he told CBC News.

An oval was built for the Canada Winter Games in February. It was used for speed-skating competitions but was open to the public before and after the events.

It was so popular with local skaters that regional council decided to make it a permanent attraction.

Gallagher said the new 400-metre oval should be ready before Christmas, though skaters will have to use temporary trailers.

Municipal officials want to consult with the public first before deciding whether a permanent structure for skaters is needed at the site.

In a deal with the Games host society, the municipality is getting three refrigeration units as long as it ensures training time for high-performance athletes.

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