Volume 12 Week 5

Tuesday, April 22


 

Updated April 19

Updated April 8

Posted April 2


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(Posted 12:30 p.m., Aug. 22)
Ottawa Senators group comes forward with plans for Sensplex East
By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

A group led by the Ottawa Senators organization has come forward with plans to turn the aging Potvin Arena into an east end version of the Bell Sensplex compete with four ice pads.

Ottawa Community Ice Partners built the Sensplex through a public private partnership arrangement with the city in 2004. The arrangement has turned out to be a successful enterprise for both partners and now the group has been selected as the preferred bid to carry out a similar project where the Potvin Arena now sits on Shefford Road near Canotek Park.

Architect's rendition of the proposed hockey complex to replace the Potvin Arena on Shefford Road. EMA Architects - Ottawa Senators


The City issued a Request for Proposals for prospective private public partners in March. As a result of that process Ottawa Community Ice Partners has been selected as the preferred proponent.

City council must now give the go-ahead for staff to enter negotiations with the group to work out the details of the partnership which will include the proponent having to build, maintain and operate the complex.

According to a staff report, negotiations will focus on meeting the needs of the community, achieving best value for the City within an acceptable risk structure, and creating a win-win partnership while minimizing impacts on the City’s operating and capital budgets.

Staff are hoping to reach a successful conclusion to the negotiations by the end of the year when they will present the proposal to city council.

If all goes well, construction could begin next spring. The original timeline called for construction to begin in the fall with the hope that the complex could be opened by next fall.

Other issues must also be worked out besides the building and operation of a new four-pad ice facility. For instance, the proposal calls for the Potvin Arena to remain open during construction of the new building and the sheer size of the complex will impact the soccer fields and beach volleyball courts in the area, but how and to what degree is not yet clear.

While a number of questions still need to be answered, Beacon Hill, Cyrville Coun. Tim Tierney is optimistic the community's needs can be met while protecting the interests of taxpayers.

"I’m very optimistic,” Tierney added. “There could be a lot of benefits if this all comes together.”

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

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