DAVE KEARSEY –  The Western Star

While the search continues for a site to build a new curling rink, Corner Brook Mayor Charles Pender says the City is committed to seeing the project through and a new facility will be in place for the 2010-2011 season.

The City had hoped to build a new curling rink at Blomidon Golf and Country Club but that idea was squashed. The second site choice, the Corner Brook High School property, was then turned down. Now city curlers are hoping the third one is the charm.

Mayor Pender said city officials are currently looking at a third site, which he hopes will be close to the city high school because he feels it will help in making the sport grow through student involvement at the school level.

“We are not prepared and we really don’t want to speculate on where the third site is going to be because one of the reasons we feel that maybe the second site fell through is that so many people were talking about it as if it was the site and it wasn’t,” Mayor Pender told The Western Star Tuesday.

City engineers have been investigating the possible new site for the curling rink.

“Our engineers have been up and had a preliminary look at it, and we’re working with a consultant now to go up and have a detailed look at the site,” he said.

Even though it’s a pre-fabricated building, Mayor Pender said there’s a lot of design work and other planning to be done to get the project up and running in earnest.

“So what they are telling us is that it’s about a four-month process to design it and then go to tender,” he said. “The tender process is about three weeks or so and, even if you had the foundation in the ground tommorrow, it would take somewhere between one and three months to put the building there depending on the availability of the building to come in and then you have to construct the building, which could take three to four months.

“So even though it seems like it’s just a tin can, it’s not.”

Whatever the City builds will also have to fit into its sustainability model, he said, which means it will have to have a low impact on the environment.

“We’ll look at capturing the heat from the ice plant to heat the ice surface,” he said. “One of the concerns the curling association had was that the former curling club was very cold so that if we can use some of that heat to raise the ambient temperature on the ice surface up to say eight to 10 degrees to make it a bit more comfortable it would make it more attractive for people to come and curl as well.”

Ideally, the mayor would like to see the project forge ahead during the non-construction season and the new facility open in time for local curlers to be back on home ice for the 2010-2011 season.

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