The turnover date for the rec centre is being pushed to mid-February.

The inside of the new Rec Centre can be seen under construction in this photo from Jan. 3. photo courtesy of the Town of Hay River

The Town of Hay River and the contractor announced the new Rec Centre will be turned over to the town by the end of January, states a news release from Jan. 12.

However as of late last week, the town is saying the turnover won’t happen by the end of January.

Mayor Brad Mapes said the new rec centre is still scheduled to open in mid-February, as was also estimated in the earlier announcement.

“We’re looking at mid-February to be open and, as far as a turnover date to the town, it really shouldn’t matter in the fact that we’re trying to work around it,” he said on Jan. 26. “We’re trying to get the arena open as quickly as possible and the turnover date for the town doesn’t really matter. I think the date that it’s open for the public is what’s key.”

Mapes said the turnover from Clark Builders will also take place about the middle of February.

“We’re still working on that,” he said. “It’s still in the process.”

Mapes said there is still a lot of work to be done.

Judy Goucher, the senior administrative officer (SAO) with the Town of Hay River, echoed the mayor’s explanation.

“What’s happening is we’re still on track to open the doors middle of February and so we’re working with the contractor to work around those dates so that our staff will be ready to go to open those doors those dates, as well,” she said.

In essence, the contractor will work toward the turnover and the town will prepare at the same time for the public opening.

“The employees are getting oriented to the facility and getting the facility ready for opening to the public and the turnover date will all occur prior to the middle of the month when we open our doors,” said Goucher. “We don’t have an exact date. We’re working simultaneously now.”

Like the mayor, Goucher said the turnover date isn’t a key date anymore because the town’s staff members are able to get into the new facility, get oriented, and get the building set up to open the doors to the public.

“And we’ll start bringing in furniture and everything else so that we’re still opening the doors to the public as we originally planned,” she said.

Goucher also noted that ice will start to be put in this week.

According to the Jan. 12 news release, Clark Builders had planned to turn over the facility by the end of January and do finishing work for approximately two weeks into February.

The host society for the upcoming Arctic Winter Games – set for March 18 to March 24 – recently said it is not worried that the Rec Centre won’t be opening until mid-February, which is just a month before the start of the international sporting event in the South Slave.

“That still gives us enough time,” Todd Shafer, the general manager of the games, said earlier this month.

The original target date for opening the Rec Centre had been mid-December.

The demolition-and-rebuild project for the facility began in the summer of 2016.

A date has not yet been set for the official opening of the new rec centre.

Paul Bickford

Paul Bickford is the reporter for Hay River Hub.

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