Residents of Steinbach got their first opportunity to view plans for the $ 42.5 million Southeast Events Center at a public meeting on Zoom on Monday.
Jeff Penner, senior partner, sports and community architect at Verne Reimer Architecture presented diagrams and renderings of the planned installation, also answering questions from the audience.
“The contribution of the community is so important at this point,” he said in an interview after the event.
For Penner, while there are projects in Canada and the United States that share some similarities, this one is unique.
“It’s a very innovative design,” he said. “The type of establishment, its location, the type of community it serves is very unique to Steinbach.”
The new facility will include 500 parking spaces, a number that will increase to 1,500 at “a short walk”.
The existing outdoor square will be maintained and enlarged. “We are trying to provide a true civic identity,” said Penner.
The north side of Hanover will include access for trucks, disembarkation and parking for buses. The east side will feature an NHL-sized outdoor rink with a warm-up hut. While the development of this space will require cutting down trees, Penner said they will try to keep as many as possible.
The floor plan is designed to allow for daily community use and large events. Penner described it as an “open and welcome design”.
The ground floor will feature a hallway that will connect the curling club and theater to the new facility.
A large atrium, food service area, volunteer center, skate shop, administration office, restrooms, and first aid room are also included.
The proposed room will total 11,000 sq. Ft. And can be divided into two zones. It can accommodate 500 people for banquets but can also be used for basketball and other field sports. There will be no fixed seats, but there is potential for retractable seats.
“It’s not a gym,” Penner said. “It’s a multipurpose room.”
The upper level will feature a 10-foot-wide walking track measured at 12 laps per mile.
The arena itself will have 2,400 seats with 3,000 possibilities. A club area could include private boxes with access to food and a bar, and a press box / media area will be included.
The arena space will also be suitable for trade shows and could contain motorhome or agricultural equipment. However, Penner said it was not designed for cattle.
There will be no squash or racquetball courts included in the design.
Natural light will be introduced into the facility through the atrium and also from the north side facing Hanover Street.
Plans continue to evolve and Penner said they are working on completing designs by March 2022. The project will then go to tender, but the city administration has been reluctant to give. an exact month for the start of construction.
“There is a lot of work ahead of us,” said Penner.