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Biggest project in our history

It’s the biggest community project currently under way in the city and – at a contract price in excess of $11 million – the biggest in Leaside’s history.

And now that the structural steel is going up, Leaside residents are beginning to see the results of years of dreaming and planning and local fundraising. We are on the verge of having an NHL-size rink added to the Leaside Memorial Community Gardens arena.

What is the project’s current status?

Last July the City of Toronto issued an $11,050,000 contract to Aquicon Construction for a new 3,200 square metre (34,432 square foot) addition to the existing arena, comprised of: new main entrance and lobby; new rink and spectator seating area; lobby and public washroom; six new dressing rooms; offices and meeting room; provisions for future pro shop and snack bar; mechanical and ancillary spaces; expanded parking for over 250 vehicles.

About $3.3 million worth of work was completed by the end of 2012, representing approximately 30 percent of the total project value. This work included: new underground site services and infrastructure (hydro, sewer and water) which turned out to be more complicated than expected; demolition of part of the existing facility; footing and foundations – 100 percent completed; interior masonry walls in the basement areas – 100 percent completed; structural steel superstructure – 25 percent com-pleted at year end and progressing quickly.

The most dramatically visible progress will be evident over the next few months: completion of the steel superstructure; installation of the metal roof and exterior walls; exterior masonry work; glazing and exterior doors.

Then comes the less dramatic but more complex work, including: interior wall and floor construction; mechanical, refrigeration, and electrical works; new rink floor, dasher boards, and score clock; installation of equipment and fixtures; interior finishes (flooring, ceilings, interior painting and seating).

Soon after the last skater leaves the ice this spring the existing parking lot will be closed and the site will be re-graded and made ready for curbs and paving. The site will be freshly paved and landscaped by next fall.

One welcome feature of the site design is the new secondary entrance at the back of the new rink, which will share an attractive new drop-off area with the pool and curling rink.

Every effort is being made to have the new ice surface ready for the 2013 ice season. The project has had its challenges in the form of unforeseen buried site conditions, but so far the project team has been able to find workable solutions on a timely basis.