Community centre taking shape

By Dave Johnson, Tribune Staff

The Pelham community centre near Highway 20 is well underway. 
(Michelle Allenberg/Tribune Staff)

The Pelham community centre near Highway 20 is well underway. (Michelle Allenberg/Tribune Staff)

Mayor Dave Augustyn says it’s very exciting seeing steel frames go up at the town’s future community centre.

“You know what things are going to look like,” says the mayor, adding there’s work going on on the future Duliban Insurance Arena on the south side of the facility right now. “Things are progressing very well.”

When complete sometime in late June or early July 2018, the 140,000 square-foot Pelham Community Centre will include a double gym, a large multi-use room, and two NHL-sized ice pads, the Accipiter Arena with 1,000 seats and the Duliban Insurance Arena with 100 seats.

Construction on the facility began last fall, with Ball Construction working with a community oversight committee, consisting of residents, town staff and community/user groups.

“They’re making sure everything is on time and on budget,” Augustyn says of the oversight committee, which meets Tuesday, May 9 at 1 p.m. at Pelham Town Hall to provide an update on the project.

A second tender package for mechanical and electrical work will be on the agenda.

Augustyn says instead one of company doing all of the work on the community centre, different components are being tendered out in an effort to get favourable pricing.

At a cost of $36.2 million, the mayor says $9 million was debentured in 2016, which saw Pelham taxes go up. A further $12 million is expected to be raised through the sale of lands around the facility, at the corner of Rice Road and Regional Road 20. Another $12 million will come through development charges, and $3 million will come from fundraising efforts.

The town will hold a press conference Thursday, May 11 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., at Peninsula Lake Golf Course, 569 Highway 20, to announce that $1 million, of the $3 million, has been raised so far. The number of named spaces at the new community centre will also be released at the time.

Augustyn says the town was able to secure five-year agreements with Pelham Minor Hockey Association, Pelham Panthers Basketball Association, Pelham Jr. B. Hockey Club and Southern Tier Admirals AAA Hockey. He says the new facility will see Welland Raiders Minor Lacrosse and Niagara Centre Skating Club come back to Pelham

“We’ve come in better than the business case for usage of the community centre, and we’re very pleased with that.”

The mayor says a report from the company LeisurePlan put main ice-pad prime-time usage at 100 per cent, and put the second ice-pad prime-time usage at 70 per cent. The prime-time usage for the second pad now exceeds 90 per cent.

“It’s clear the community centre was needed and will certainly be used,” says Augustyn.   
Twitter: @DaveJTheTrib