The Head Coach of the Steinbach Pistons calls it surreal that the city has now approved the tender for construction of the Southeast Event Centre. But Paul Dyck says the new plan could leave them searching for a temporary home.
On Tuesday night, Steinbach City Council awarded the tender for this project to Graham Construction and Engineering Inc. The project will include two indoor ice surfaces, with one of those being able to convert into a concert or event centre. There will also be a multi-use hall that can be used for volleyball, basketball, futsal or pickleball. In addition, there will be an atrium for public gathering space and a walking track.
The original estimate for this project was $42.5 million. However, when the lowest bid came back at $75 million, plans were made to trim those costs by revising mechanical and electrical components and constructing the facility in one phase instead of two phases.
As a result, Steinbach City Council has approved the tender for $61 million.
As Head Coach for the Pistons, Dyck says he is relieved to finally be in this position, noting it is a surreal feeling, considering all of the talk and dreams from different groups wanting to build this over the years.
"This is final, we're moving forward, it feels great," says Dyck.
However, Dyck says the decision to complete the project in a single phase instead of two, does create challenges. It could mean that the Steinbach Pistons will be forced to find a temporary home for the next hockey season. That is because the Centennial rink is scheduled to be demolished next summer, with completion of the new arena only expected by the fall of the following year.
"There are definitely some question marks ahead for us that are going to need to get answered," says Dyck. "We're going to have to address that here as an organization on what it looks like exactly. So, don't really have any clarity and no answers at this point but it's something that we're going to start working on here."
However, on the flip side, Dyck says the benefit to constructing the facility in a single phase is that everything is then complete and available at the same time, rather than needing to find temporary space for staff during that first season.
Dyck says he looks forward to the building being completed, even if it spells the end of a rink with so many memories. For Dyck, he says that is where he played his minor hockey, it is where he watched the Huskies make their Allan Cup run in the late '70s and it is where he coached the Steinbach Pistons to a Manitoba Junior Hockey League championship first in 2013 and then again in 2018.
"The memories, they are not going to fade," says Dyck. "(But), the time has come to turn the page."
Dyck says they will always have photos to remember the past, but it is time to look forward and start thinking about the new banners that can be hung in that new building.