The Centrium will be modernized to prepare for the World Junior Ice Hockey Championships with $3 million from the City of Red Deer.
City council had previously approved this amount in the capital budget, but decided Monday to provide the entire amount in 2020 for the modernization of dressing rooms, washrooms, the scoreboard and video equipment.
This is instead of the previous three installments that were pegged for 2020, 2021 and 2022.
The city’s chief financial officer, Dean Krejci, told council this will improve the economies of scale for the project and allow the arena’s modernization to happen before the tournament starts in December.
Council was told there are sufficient funds to absorb the change in timing.
City council, which took over financial control of the cash-strapped facility earlier this year, will work with the Westerner Park board and staff on securing a corporation that will pay for naming rights for the facility, and for getting federal and provincial funding support.
The city will also provide project management for the Centrium modernization project.
And the city is continuing to negotiate with Red Deer County to boost its financial contributions to Westerner Park and the regional airport.
City manager Allan Seabrooke anticipates most of the modernization will be done to the Centrium this year, but there’s a chance some will spill over into 2021.
The scope of the funding change was unanimously approved by council.