Frequently Asked Questions
These questions have been recieved throughout the project life span. If you have a question that is not answered below please use the contact form and we will reply.
On this page:
- Why is there only one ice surface?
- Where are the designs?
- Won’t the running & walking track on the main level conflict with field use?
- What about storage for user groups?
- What about sight lines for the arena?
- Why is this project happening? What’s wrong with the current arena? Can’t we just add on to it?
- Why are other municipalities involved in a Town of Peace River project?
- What were the findings of the Regional Recreation Needs Assessment?
- What is a fieldhouse?
- Isn’t the current arena completely financially sustainable?
- How many parking spaces will there be?
- What is the seating capacity? Aren’t we losing hundreds of seats?
- What’s the indoor playground?
- What will happen to the outdoor rink?
- How much are my taxes going to go up?
Submit feedback or question
Why is there only one ice surface?
The Town cannot afford the cost of a twin rink at this time. We are very fortunate to have the support of our neighbors in building the replacement rink we are building. The finalized site design includes space for the addition of a second ice surface once a funding plan can be identified in the future.
The current project is budgeted at $23 million, the addition of a second ice surface would cost a minimum of $10 million more, which would raise the project cost from $23 million to $33 million or more. It is more than we can afford at this current time.
Where are the final designs?
You can download them via the link below.
Won’t the running/walking track on the main level conflict with field use?
Not really, while users will have to cross the track to reach the field, operationally this is solved with signage and with the track users keeping their eyes open for other users. While the committee initially considered a raised track, they were able to save $1.5 million in the budget by lowering it to the main floor. The design will feature mesh curtains that will help to keep the track safe from errant balls. Similar to the outdoor setup seen at Glenmary High School where users must cross a running track to access the field.
Additionally, overlapping curtains have been selected that will keep balls in the field house from interfering with the track, this was a direct response to these concerns.
What about storage for user groups?
In late 2016 as the design was being finalized the Town met repeatedly with user groups, this was a consistent concern that was brought up, in response an additional 189 square metres of warm storage space has been has been worked into the design, without impacting price.
What about the arena sight lines?
We were also concerned about the sight lines, however, during the process, we have looked at a lot of arenas and a lot of potential solutions. One such solution involves the pitch and placement of seats to ensure a better-unobstructed angle. Another part of that solution would be the use glass or transparent material in any railings. Please see diagram below.
Why is this project even happening? What’s wrong with the current arena? Can’t we just add on to it?
Three years ago the Town of Peace River began preliminary research into the costs associated with adding a second ice rink to the current Baytex Energy Centre. During that time an engineering firm looked at the current arena found some unexpected and project altering news, it discovered that the foundation was constantly shifting due to the under-sized footing. Recommendations received from engineers at the time stated it would need to be replaced within five years.
That assessment changed project priorities from building a second ice surface, to ensuring that the Town had even one ice surface in the year 2020. For more details on the timeline and when events took place please click below:
Why are other municipalities involved in a Town of Peace River project?
In 2014 when it became apparent the current arena would need to be replaced, a quote was compiled for a comparable facility. That quote found that replacing the current arena, would cost approximately $20 million to build. With five years left on the current arena and an expected construction time of two years that meant the Town had only three years to design a replacement facility and to find the money to build it.
Realistically the Town estimated it could only raise or borrow about $10 million. When a quote was compiled for that price the Town discovered it would only afford an undersized practice rink, seating for 100 (maybe 150) and four change rooms.
More simply phrased – by involving our neighbours we were able to get much more than we were able to afford on our own.
They are our partners on this, with their help we are able to build an ice surface to replace the current one on schedule. This partnership is because they understand that their residents use our facilities as well. In the spirit of cooperation, they have been invited not only to contribute financially but to help design the facility too. Intermunicipal cooperation at this level is unheard of in this region and it sets an example for what can be achieved as well as a precedent for future collaborations.
What were the findings of the Regional Recreation Needs Assessment?
The assessment is available to download. In addition, it identified the recreation gaps in the region beginning on page 64. This project will help to address the top five, which are fitness/wellness, ice arena, walking/running track, indoor child playground, and indoor field facilities. (Read the assessment here)
What is a fieldhouse?
A field house is an indoor field, it allows for year round activities that would normally not be possible in the winter, such as, soccer, badminton, volleyball, rugby, football, basketball, pickleball, dodgeball, martial arts, boxing, wrestling, ultimate, lacrosse, and many more.
Isn’t the Baytex Energy Centre completely financially sustainable operationally?
No, the Baytex Energy Centre operates at just below 50 per cent cost recovery. That means that more than 50 per cent of the annual operating costs are subsidized by other Town revenue sources.
Here are the numbers for the previous three years.
|Revenue||$ 262,845.00||$ 287,784.00||$ 279,503.00|
|Expenses||$ 454,527.00||$ 411,956.00||$ 420,660.00|
|Net operating||-$ 191,682.00||-$ 124,172.00||-$ 141,157.00|
How many parking spaces will there be?
There will be 250 additional parking spaces added to the site, there will also be 15 spots left at the pool and 200 on street parking spots will remain for a total 465 parking spots at the site. Additionally, we will be increasing accessibility at both the main entrance and the team entrance. This number is determined by the requirements Town of Peace River’s land use bylaw, the seating capacity of the new recreation centre and the capacity of the pool.
What is the seating capacity? Aren’t we losing hundreds of seats?
The seating capacity of the new arena will be 900, which is 200 fewer than the current arena’s 1100. Currently, the arena’s fire doors allow for a maximum occupancy of 1600 people, however, when measured using a standard 18″ per seat measurement there are only 1100 seats. While there is still a drop in the number of seats it’s only 200 fewer, not 700.
What does indoor playground entail?
We’re in the process of determining the final design, below is the current draft. It features climbing structures and slides, as well as large windows offering great views to the ice below. Again this design is a work in progress and is subject to change.
What happens to the outdoor rink?
The current outdoor ice rink there will also be rebuilt, rehabilitated, and located next to the new facility.
How much will my taxes go up?
Taxes will not be raised anymore to pay for this project. In 2015 a tax increase was levied for the recreation centre. How that likely impacted residents is broken down below.
Since this isn’t a specific rate attributable to a specific class, both residential and commercial properties contribute towards the PRRC. Based on our current split between residential and commercial properties, 57.4% of our revenues come from residential properties and 42.6% from commercial. This means that of the $1 million raised from taxes, $574,000 is from residential properties throughout town.
Focusing on residential properties only, the town budgeted $5,821,800 in residential tax levies, of which $574,000, or 9.0%, is attributable to the PRRC. Carrying that over to the tax rate, 9.0% of the existing residential rate of 8.7129 is .788 cents.
For every $100,000 of assessed value on a residential property, $78.80 is attributable to the PRRC.
The 2017 median residential property in town is assessed at around $280,000, meaning that this property is paying $220.64 towards the arena. Of the rest of the residential properties in town, half would pay more and half would pay less.
Below is an example of what properties at certain assessed values are contributing towards the PRRC.