Construction starts on Dieppe arena as Riverview plans rec centre

Work on two major recreation facilities in greater Moncton is moving ahead on the heels of the city opening its downtown arena.

Construction began three weeks ago on Dieppe’s $31.6-million arena that will include two NHL-size rinks. 

Across the Petitcodiac, Riverview town council has launched a volunteer committee to guide development of its $16-million wellness centre expected to break ground in three years.

Jason Nadeau, project manager with the City of Dieppe, said that after nine years working on plans, he’s relieved to see construction underway. 

“It’s really nice to see something on the ground and going up from the ground,” Nadeau said. 

A rendering of Dieppe’s community complex under construction off College Street. It will have two ice surfaces and is expected to open in fall 2020. (City of Dieppe)

Work began Jan. 2 on Dieppe’s arena off College Street near the Centennial Arena.

Centennial Arena, built in 1967, will be demolished in spring 2020, months before the anticipated fall 2020 completion of the new arena. 

The city will have a total of four ice pads once it is complete, up from three. 

The main rink in the new arena will have about 1,000 seats while the second will have about 65 seats.

It will also have an indoor walking track, a community kitchen, a greenhouse, and community rooms that can hold up to 150 people.

Excavation work for the building’s foundation is underway. Steel beams should start to go up in the spring. (Pierre Fournier/CBC)

Nadeau said excavation work is underway, which means increased truck traffic in the neighbourhood.

The recent weather did cause work to stop at the site once this week, but he said so far it hasn’t caused significant problems.

Steel beams will start to rise at the site in the spring, he said. 

A rendering of the Dieppe community centre. It will replace the aging Centennial Arena. (City of Dieppe)

The federal and provincial governments are providing a combined $16.8 million of the cost.

The rest will be covered by the city and Go Dieppe, a volunteer group that set a goal to raise $4.5 million. 

The group raised 70 per cent of that goal before construction began.

Part of the total included $1 million from Uni Financial Cooperation to secure the facility’s naming rights.

A rendering of the interior of the centre under construction. (City of Dieppe)

The cost of the project climbed from $29 million last year because of U.S. tariffs on steel and wood. 

Pomerleau Inc., a Quebec-based firm, was awarded the $30.59-milloin contract to build the complex by council in September. The city has budgeted an additional $1 million for signs, equipment, furniture and a sound system.

Riverview wellness centre

Last week, Riverview council established a volunteer committee of business and community members that will advise the town on the wellness centre. Lawrence Forbes was named chair of the committee. 

“We are progressing, which is exciting,” said deputy mayor Tammy Rampersaud, adding that town residents have wanted such a facility for a long time. 

It is expected to include an aquatics centre, walking track, community space and turf field house.

Last year, Riverview trimmed an ice surface from plans for the wellness centre to reduce the price. The town plans to build the centre in several phases.

The town has budgeted $250,000 this year to support fundraising and to further the facility’s design and project management. 

Construction is expected to take place in 2022 and 2023. It will be constructed on one of two sites near Mill Creek Park.

Rampersaud said subsequent phases may include an ice rink, depending on the needs of the community.

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