The old Centennial Arena in Steinbach will probably stay standing for at least another month. 

When the Steinbach Pistons won the Turnbull Cup Saturday night, it marked the end of an era for that old barn. But that does not mean it is ready for demolition. 

Russ Dyck is Head of Parks and Recreation for the City of Steinbach. He says contractors were anxiously awaiting the completion of the hockey season and now that building is in demolition mode. Dyck says the city has this week to salvage whatever items it wants from inside the arena. For example, Dyck says they will be saving some of the wood from the rafters in order to make things like park benches. Some other items, such as the tables from the lobby will be auctioned off at Penner Auctions.

"The building was old, so not everything can be reused," he says. "But whatever we can reasonably salvage, we are trying to do that."

According to Dyck, the banners and trophies that had been on display in the arena are now in storage. He notes many of the trophies belong to minor hockey and some will be going back on display inside the new facility. 

"Banners as well, we'll try and find a home for those somewhere," adds Dyck. "We do want to bring some of the history back into the new facility for sure."

Dyck explains that once the city has had a week to salvage whatever it wants to keep, the asbestos abatement crew will move in to remove some of the material that has some levels of asbestos. He notes a lot of material does not have a high level, though there is some asbestos in the drywall mud, floor tiles and some insulation.

"So that does take some time for them to set up, do the removal and cleanup and so forth," he adds. "Everything needs to be done safely."

Dyck notes the asbestos abatement crew could be on site for a couple of weeks, depending on what they find. That means the building could be standing for another month. Dyck says they do not have an exact date for demolition, but it will probably be at least the end of May or early June before that happens. 

Dyck says because demolition is now happening a little later than originally expected, it will impact the construction schedule of the new event centre. He notes construction has already started on the main part of the facility, but it is only after the demolition has happened that they can begin construction on what will be the banquet hall, gym floor and atrium. 

"Every day saved at this end of the calendar is a day saved at the finish line," notes Dyck. "So, we're definitely under some time constraints to keep things moving."

Yet, Dyck says they have been told that the construction project remains on schedule. He notes there is a lot of concrete to pour before the steel arrives sometime in mid to late summer. 

Meanwhile, Dyck says it is a bittersweet time to see the end of the Centennial Arena. He notes it was a great final season with several Steinbach teams winning league championships. However, Dyck says the building has had its limitations and it is time to move on.


With files from Dave Anthony