The renovation project for Wallaceburg Memorial Arena was given the green light by Chatham-Kent Council on Monday night, December 17.

A tender in the amount of $1.8-million was awarded to Aveiro Constructors Ltd.

Council voted unanimously in favour of the staff recommendation.

A total of 15 contractors submitted tenders for the project, which includes:

– The installation of an accessible washroom

– The installation of an elevator to the Jack Bachus Mezzanine

– The re-design of the front lobby/canteen/office area

– Expanded accessible viewing

– The addition of three dressing rooms and a referee’s room

– Upgrades to the existing dressing rooms, washrooms and a referee’s room, including: patchwork, paint, flooring, new benches and hooks.

– And upgrades to the washroom areas and referee’s room include patchwork, paint, new lighting, flooring, exhaust and electrical.

Jane McGee, supervisor for recreation facilities, said feedback gathered from public consultation meetings held this past summer was directly implemented into the plans.

“We had what I would call a primary user group meeting, which is just a key representation of our figure skating group, our hockey group, our lacrosse group,” McGee said.

“We got some really valuable feedback from that from the original schematic. Following that we went back to our consultants and they worked those requests in.”

McGee said a full user meeting was also held.

“From that we had a number of observations from those that are in the facility every day using it, what works for them, what doesn’t… instead of going large change rooms, go more, so we can accommodate the flow of people in and out, accommodate females and referees, the size of the referees room, the observation glass upstairs, if it was a little bigger, we could see better,” McGee said.

“So, all of those were implemented into the design and were included in the tender.”

McGee said once the purchasing documents are received, the renovations can move ahead.

A staff report from January of this year says the construction will not displace any ice users and should be wrapped up by September of next year.

The Wallaceburg Red Devils Lacrosse team was also consulted and will be accommodated in Dresden for their 2019 season, staff said in a report.

Funding for the project will come from the Arena Asset Lifecycle Reserve.