The Peterborough Lakers lacrosse team is concerned where it will play as the city looks for replacement options for the aging Peterborough Memorial Centre.
Major renovations to the PMC’s concrete ice pad and refrigeration system are planned for the summer of 2019. The construction would force the defending Mann Cup national champion Lakers out of the team’s home arena for the season.
The proposed $2-million upgrade to the 62-year-old arena’s floor and ice making infrastructure has the Lakers concerned. Board chair Bill Joiner says the team has been left in the dark and its correspondence with the city has fallen off.
“We have been inquiring about the monitoring that is supposed to be ongoing, but we haven’t received one in a little while,” Joiner said. “And we’re supposed to be getting one every month.”
The city is monitoring the situation and engineering firm Carvajal Structural Engineers out of Toronto has been hired to monitor the floor’s condition.
The last update the Lakers received from the city was in April 2017. This was shortly after city council agreed to put aside $940,000 as part of a contingency renovation fund, which includes $765,000 to purchase an emergency ice making system, in case the current pipping freezer system every failed, and $30,000 to complete monthly structural reviews of the concrete ice pad.
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“We have been doing our best to work with the city to come up with a solution,” Joiner said. “We’re going to have to get into more meetings with the city to find out just exactly what can be done for 2019.”
The ice pad replacement work was initially scheduled for this summer. But with the Lakers coming into the season as defending Mann Cup champions, they hold the chance to host the Mann Cup after winning the title in B.C. last summer.
The Mann Cup finals shift back to Ontario this season, and offer the potential to be a major revenue generator for the team and the city.
Construction is still going ahead on new boards and glass at the rink this summer after the Ontario Hockey League mandated all arenas install safer dasher boards and a glass across all rinks.
As for the ice making system, Petes President Dave Pogue says the Petes are just as concerned as city staff, and they’ll listen to the engineers’ advice.
“We’ve read the reports, and the floor and the ice making plant are a concern. If it goes down, we know there is a contingency plan,” Pogue said. “Still, it puts us out of business for three weeks, which would be difficult during the regular season, but that is where we are at this point.”
The temporary ice system would be installed on the concrete slab floor and would take three weeks to be fully installed.
While the city is currently looking at a replacement facility for the Memorial Centre, the Lakers hope the project can be put off until the new sport and entertainment facility is built, but that project is still in the planning stages and there is no timeline for the completion of the project.