After setbacks, arena renovations are nearing completion

The ongoing $7.6 million renovation project at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena should be complete by the end of January, project head John Elzinga said last week.

Design committee head Rocky Wise

Design committee head Rocky Wise

The ongoing $7.6 million renovation project at the Cowichan Lake Sports Arena should be complete by the end of January, project head John Elzinga said last week.

“We’re still discussing the date,” Elzinga said, adding that the last date he’d heard from contractors was January 19, which no longer looks realistic.

This new January completion date comes about five months after their initial completion date, for the beginning of September.

But, Elzinga said that the project is still on-budget. The project had a buffer zone of wish list items; some of which have been delayed due to the time overrun. Nothing major, Elzinga said, and many wish list items are still being included.

The project is also benefiting from a CVRD decision to not apply bonus or penalty clauses, which are dependent upon how long the renovations take.

“Things just took a bit longer than we thought they would. No big reason,” Elzinga said, of the ever-changing completion date. “Weather does tie into it.”

“It looks beautiful already,” Cowichan Lake Recreation Commission chair Sheila McFarlane said. “It looks like it’ll be the nicest arena on the Island.”

McFarlane said that, although there have been some naysayers in the community about the grand opening’s delay, the Commission isn’t up-in-arms.

“You’re bound to have some delays,” she said, citing a wait for the $1 million federal grant, weather issues, and general construction issues as reasons for the delay.

“We were hoping it would be ready, but most people understand,” she said. “On the whole, I think people will be very pleased when they see it. I think we’ll be the envy of the Island.”

A partial completion was granted for the locally-hosted Peewee League Tournament, December 20 to 22, with the local team christening the new dressing rooms.

Another such partial completion date will be set up in advance of this weekend’s Annual Men’s Bonspiel, January 20 to 23. By the weekend, Elzinga said that the curling lounge renovations, which includes a new ceiling, a handicap accessible washroom, new benches, and other things, will be complete.

Elzinga said that a grand opening will be organized for some time in the near future. The Gazette will continue to follow this story as it develops.

Elzinga is a former manager of Cowichan Lake Recreation, and is the current manager of the Island Savings Centre in Duncan.

The $7.6 million in renovation budget includes $1 million in federal economic stimulus funding, $100,000 in previous savings, and $6.5 in borrowing.

Just Posted

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

Mariah Segee (centre) was named 2021 Lady of the Lake last Saturday, with Megan Rowbottom (left) as first princess, and Macey Anderson (right) as second princess. (Submitted)
Lady of the Lake returns to Lake Cowichan

Mariah Segee takes the crown in first pageant since 2018

Darren Campbell's truck was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch (pictured) on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
UPDATE: Cowichan Bay Good Samaritan’s stolen truck recovered

‘Very much appreciated the help from so many people. I hope the very best for all of you’

Threads N Tails owner Lee-Ann Burke’s pet clothing has been featured on the cover of the June/July issue of Pet Connection Magazine. (Submitted)
Lake Cowichan business featured on magazine cover

Lee-Ann Burke hopes the extra publicity will increase sales

North Cowichan’s senior environment specialist Dr. Dave Preikshot (pictured) said there’s a wide spectrum of views on carbon credits. (File photo)
Carbon credits expected to be part of discussions around forest reserve

North Cowichan acknowledges wide range of views on issue

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

There is an emergency shelter near the Golden Ears peaks. (Facebook/Special to The News)
Hiker fogged in on Golden Ears, spends 2 nights

Talon Helicopters, Ridge Meadows Search and Rescue bring him home Monday

Annamie Paul, leader of the Green Party of Canada, speaks at a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, on June 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Green Leader Annamie Paul facing no-confidence motion from party brass

move follows months of internal strife and the defection of MP Jenica Atwin to the Liberals

Tulips bloom in front of the Supreme Court of Canada in Ottawa, Thursday, May 10, 2018. Day two of a full week of scheduled hearings will be heard in Federal Court today on a case involving Indigenous children unnecessarily taken into foster care by what all parties call Canada’s “broken child welfare system.” THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
AFN slams Ottawa for ‘heartless’ legal challenge of First Nations child compensation

2019 decision awarded $40,000 to each Indigenous child removed before 2006

Ivy was thrown out of a moving vehicle in Kelowna. Her tail was severely injured and will be amputated. (BC SPCA)
Kitten thrown from moving vehicle, needs help: Kelowna SPCA

The seven-week-old kitten had severe tail and femur injuries

The Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre estimates that less than five per cent of mass-marketing fraud is ever reported.
Tips to avoid scams targeting Vancouver Island seniors

In most cases, fraudsters impersonate an individual, business or agency seniors recognize and trust

Vancouver courthouse. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Man loses bid to appeal conviction for 1999 rape at Abbotsford music festival

James Redden, 53, formerly of Nanaimo, was found guilty in 2019 following six-day trial

A health-care worker holds up a sign signalling she needs more COVID-19 vaccines at the ‘hockey hub’ mass vaccination facility at the CAA Centre during the COVID-19 pandemic in Brampton, Ont., on Friday, June 4, 2021. This NHL-sized hockey rink is one of CanadaÕs largest vaccination centres. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
‘Vaxxed to the max’: Feds launch Ask an Expert campaign to encourage COVID shots

Survey shows that confidence in vaccines has risen this spring

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Inquest set into 2016 death of B.C. teen after a day spent in police custody

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure in hospital after spending time in jail cell

Most Read