PEI

Charlottetown researching next steps for new multi-use facility

Charlottetown is hiring a consultant to research the city’s next steps in terms of building a new multi-purpose events centre.

Consultant being asked to present less expensive options

When estimates for a new Charlottetown sports complex were first drafted in 2017, the price tag was estimated around $80 million for a facility with two ice surfaces, 5,000 seats and some retail space. (CBC)

Charlottetown is hiring a consultant to research the city's next steps in terms of building a new multi-purpose events centre.

One of the things the consultant will be looking into is funding strategies and asking other municipalities that have built similar facilities in the last 10 years how they funded their projects. 

"We would be asking them to look around at other best practices of other projects that have been done similarly across the country," said Coun. Alanna Jankov, chair of the inter-governmental and strategic priorities committee. 

When estimates for a new Charlottetown sports complex were first drafted in 2017, the price tag was estimated around $80 million for a facility with two ice surfaces, 5,000 seats and some retail space.

The city is now asking the consultant for other less expensive options as well, Jankov said.

"We need the consultant to revisit the price tag because in the original report it was more the Cadillac version and so we need to look at a good understanding of what the actual costing would be and the operational cost of such a project, as well as different recommendations for locations," she said.

Finding a way for funding

Jankov said originally the location was going to be the land where the government garage is on Riverside Drive, which is going to be torn down, but even that is being revisited in this report.

"In order to move forward and then engage the public you don't want to leave any stone unturned," she said.

Ottawa is currently not offering any funding because there are expected to be professional and semi-professional teams who are tenants in the facilities — the Charlottetown Islanders hockey team and the Island Storm basketball team.

Coun. Alanna Jankov says this research is just the next step. There's no commitment yet to move forward with the project and the public will be consulted before a decision is made. (Natalia Goodwin/CBC )

The city is still hoping to find a way around that to get federal funding, Jankov said.

"That's why we are getting the consultant because we don't know and so this is step two of many layers and for us to even go from there we have to find out if there are ways we can make this work," she said.

Jankov said there's no commitment yet to move forward with the project and the public will be consulted before a decision is made.

"The most important thing is to find out whether or not there is even any opportunity for funding before we can even go on from there," she said.

Without a new facility Charlottetown will have to continue to use the Eastlink Centre for many events, which Jankov says is still in working order. (Tom Steepe/CBC)

The consultant is expected to file their findings by the end of the year.

More P.E.I. news

with files from Island Morning

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