Penticton city council could face a $2-million roof repair bill for aging Memorial Arena.
Initial plans for 2013, however, only call for a $30,000 assessment into the extent of the repair work required.
Chuck Loewen, the city's general manager of recreation and facilities, told a council budget session Monday several complaints have been received about the arena's leaking roof.
"For a number of years now there have been leaking problems with the roof. We hear about it from our clients and customers all the time," he said. "That's why we brought this forward."
Before calling for tenders on such a project, Loewen said a detailed assessment should be completed first. A similar process was involved in recent roof repairs for the older portion of the Penticton Community Centre.
"We're also going to look at some of the other structural components around the arena, but the majority is the actual roof as well as the beams underneath," he said.
Initial budget estimates suggest at least $1.6 million would be needed for the roof repairs. However, Loewen said that figure was first proposed three or four years ago as part of the city's 10-year capital plan.
Although the city previously carried out significant roof beam repairs and other upgrades to the arena in the 1990s, Loewen said there are no imminent plans to tear the building down. Memorial Arena opened in 1951.
"There is no specific city plan to tear it down," he said. "There is a desire and request to study the number of ice surfaces we do have."
Loewen said the city’s ice rinks(including McLaren Arena and the SOEC) are under-utilized at certain times of year and hours during the day. However, at other peak times there is not enough ice time available.
"It's a whole project that we have to look at, but at this point no one is saying: ÔLet's shut down one of these ice surfaces.'"
The roof repair study is in addition to a $120,000 "full facility review" of about 50 city-owned buildings. Loewen said such a master plan will not be as detailed as needed in a tender call specifically for the Memorial Arena repairs.
Mayor Dan Ashton noted questions surrounding the future of the arena are nothing new.
"The Memorial Arena roof has been kicked around for years and years," Ashton said. "There are two things. Do we want to keep the building? And do we want to reroof it?"
Coun. John Vassilaki said he fully supports any necessary repairs to Memorial Arena.
"That's dear to everybody's heart in Penticton. That building was built with money donated by the citizens of Penticton," Vassilaki said.
Council voted unanimously to endorse a $1.6-million overall capital budget for city facilities in 2013.