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September 6, 2007

Fans of the Kingston Frontenacs will be sitting in the seats of the city's new $46.1 million sports and entertainment centre on Feb. 22. That's the date EllisDon has promised completion for the facility. Recent labour strife has pushed the opening date one month later than expected

CITY OF KINGSTON

Fans of the Kingston Frontenacs will be sitting in the seats of the city's new $46.1 million sports and entertainment centre on Feb. 22. That's the date EllisDon has promised completion for the facility. Recent labour strife has pushed the opening date one month later than expected.

Infrastructure

Labour issues delay construction of Kingston complex

New delivery date set in time for puck to drop

KINGSTON, ONT.

Kingston’s downtown regional sports and entertainment complex will be open for business in February - just over one month behind schedule.

“Design-builder EllisDon has confirmed and committed to having an operational building ready to host events on Feb. 22,” said Lanie Hurdle, the project’s manager for the City of Kingston.

Originally scheduled to open Jan. 18, the $46.1-million facility has been delayed by labour action.

Ontario’s crane operators went on strike for a week earlier this year, then labourers walked off the job for another three weeks.

The Feb. 22 date is significant because there is a regional hockey game scheduled for the facility. The Kingston Frontenacs will be playing the Belleville Bulls.

EllisDon has guaranteed the opening date and any further delays caused by issues under the control of EllisDon would put the contractor in violation of its contract with the city.

The municipality has been waiting for EllisDon to provide the guaranteed completion date since the strikes wrapped up.

The delay will end up costing the municipality as it had to get an extension on its insurance coverage and some salaries will have to be extended, she said. There will also be some additional costs related to the city’s pre-opening contract with Arcturus SMG, the facility’s service provider.

EllisDon is continuing with steel work on the site, pouring concrete and precast and mechanical work is being done.

The building’s limestone exterior is expected to be going up this week and the building should be completely enclosed by mid-October.

Work will continue on the site until after the Feb. 22 opening date. EllisDon and its people will be reviewing equipment efficiencies, doing architectural finishing and demobilizing.

Hurdle estimated workers will remain on the site for about a month after the opening.

The building received site plan approval last week.

Studies of the centre’s mechanical and generator noise show that they are both within approval levels of the Ministry of Ministry. The city is working with EllisDon to provide acoustics that are equal to those of the John Labatt Centre in London, Ont.

The city plans on opening the building for tours Feb. 21, the day before the official opening and the hockey game.

A fundraising campaign for the centre has brought in more than $533,000, more than one quarter of a $2-million goal. Potential naming rights sponsors will be recommended to Kingston City Council this month.

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