Arena demolition expected to begin Thursday

The public will be able to witness the demolition of the old Arena and the subsequent rise of the new Red Deer Downtown Arena live online, beginning on Thursday.

The public will be able to witness the demolition of the old Arena and the subsequent rise of the new Red Deer Downtown Arena live online, beginning on Thursday.

The old Arena is going down to make way for a new arena to be completed in 2018, before the city hosts the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

The demolition start will depending on weather and completion of the disconnection of utilities.

The entire demolition will take about four weeks. Once finished, construction on the new arena will begin.

“The demolition process will take some time, as precautions need to be taken to ensure the safe removal of the facility, which sits within a few metres of the Pidherney Curling Centre,” Curtis Martinek, project superintendent, said in a release.

Many items from the old arena, including fixtures, seating, arena glass and heating systems have already been removed to be re-purposed in other city facilities, or were sold during a public sale held in early May.

The old arena’s neon sign, to serve as a backdrop to memories and history, will be incorporated into the new facility.

The new downtown Arena will have room temperature seating, gathering spaces, an interior connection to the curling centre, indoor walking track, larger and modernized change rooms, team warm-up areas, skate sharpening and laundry facilities.

It is being designed to meet energy and environmental standards for a greener and more efficient operation.

The live-stream video of demolition and construction can be viewed at reddeer.ca/downtownarena.