WATCH ABOVE: Just over a year after ground broke, Rogers Place is quickly taking shape. Vinesh Pratap gives us a behind-the-scenes look.
EDMONTON — Construction of Rogers Place in downtown Edmonton is more than a year old and the city says the project is both on time and on budget.
“Things are moving forward and we’re very confident in our ability to proceed with the project,” said Rick Daviss, the city’s executive director for the Downtown Arena District.
On Wednesday, the city provided a construction update along with the Edmonton Arena Corporation and PCL construction.
According to PCL, the structure is about 35 per cent complete. Right now the steel stands 26 metres above ice level. When it is finished the roof will be 43 metres above the ice. The arena will start to take shape in the summer once all the steel is erected. The roof will be in place by winter.
“We’re going to be about 80 to 85 per cent complete by this time next year, that would be the plan,” said Mike Staines, PCL project manager.
“Really, we’ll be trying to get the building up and ready. The intent is that we’ll have as much of the interior architecture done this time next year as we possibly can.”
The city also provided an update to the Winter Garden pedway, a separate project that will be fully integrated into the arena.
The Winter Garden will serve as the main entrance to the arena with space to host various events. A projected 1.4 million people will use the space each year.
“Fundamentally, the Winter Garden will be a people place and a vibrant and active hub in the arena district,” said Bob Black of the Edmonton Arena Corporation. “It will be an active, walk-able area with views into the arena’s functional areas including a television production studio and a media centre.”
At one point there was a discussion about scrapping the Winter Garden project to save money. Now the city has grand plans for the area such as public and private events and pre-game tailgate parties.
“When other arenas see the Winter Garden they’ll look with envious eyes,” said Black.
“It really is a great piece of architecture.”
The $56.5 million price tag for the Winter Garden is shared between the city and the Edmonton Arena Corporation. The EAC is paying $31.5 million and the city is paying $25 million through the Community Revitalization Levy.
The Winter Garden will be open all the hours the LRT is open. Construction of the pedway is scheduled to finish at the same time as the rest of the arena, in September of 2016.