Bird joins the Seven Oaks Arena Project at Garden City Community Centre

Bird has joined the much anticipated Seven Oaks Arena project in Winnipeg, Manitoba as the general contractor. Winnipeg Sun featured the following article:



To many it looks like a big hole in the ground, but to Lorrie Rogalka it's a thing of beauty.

"I wrote on my Facebook that I've never been so happy to see a pile of dirt moved," Rogalka, a member of the Seven Oaks Arena Project, said Friday afternoon at Garden City Community Centre.

Directly behind the centre is where excavation has finally started on the $17-million twin-pad Seven Oaks Arena. The 103,000-sq. ft. facility was originally announced with much celebration, along with city and provincial representatives, at a press conference in February 2013.

At the time, it was slated to open in the fall of 2014. A ceremonial groundbreaking was held months later, but a year after the announcement there were no signs of construction due to several delays.

As a result, Rogalka and other SOAP members were bombarded with questions from the community as to why nothing was happening.

"I said 'Can we just put a big piece of machinery in the field so people will stop asking us?'" Rogalka said with a chuckle.

The biggest snag came when the project's contractor backed out at the 11th hour last fall. It had to be re-tendered, resulting in Bird Construction coming on as the new contractor.

"That was difficult, but Bird has been awesome," Rogalka said. "They're on the same page as us. They want to see this done and see it done right."

Rogalka was one of several so-called "crazy hockey moms" who got this project started out of frustration over a lack of available indoor ice.

"When a few of us hockey moms had the idea to get an arena built in our area back in June 2009, we could never have imagined the journey we would take over the next 4 1/2 years," she said.

"We have learned a lot over the course of this project and have worked countless hours to see this idea become a reality."

Each arena will offer a minimum 350 seating capacity on one side as well as end-zone atrium viewing behind glass.

The arenas will connect to the existing indoor soccer complex at GCCC.

Stantec Architecture is the project's prime consultant and architect. Stantec was behind the development of several quality facilities, including the twin-pad Portage Credit Union and the six-pad Evraz Place in Regina.

"A few of the guys from Stantec are from this area, they know the area needs it, so it's got a good community feel to it," Rogalka said.

NRG Fitness, currently on Dublin Avenue where it is a popular training facility for hockey and soccer teams, will be the main tenant of Seven Oaks Arena's second floor. The facility will also offer additional space for Leisure Guide programming, which is also lacking in the area, Rogalka said.

The facility is anticipating a 12-month build with doors open by March 2015. That may sound ambitious, but Rogalka pointed out the MTS Iceplex was built in a year and it's twice the size.

The City of Winnipeg will shut down two arenas, Old Exhibition and Vimy, when Seven Oaks opens. It's hoped Seven Oaks will only be the first of a few multi-pad arenas that will eventually replace aging city rinks.

But it will take volunteer groups like the one in Seven Oaks to get the ball rolling.

"Our board has been great at the community centre and that makes a difference," Rogalka said.

"There were people who said you'll never get it done, because other community centres have tried ... but if you get a setback, you have to accept it and move on."
Bird Joins The Seven Oaks Arena Project At Garden City Community Centre : News & Media : Bird Construction