"It's exciting to see this project come together." Don Wiebe, Reeve for the Municipality of Rhineland, made those comments earlier this week when he provided an update on the massive renovation project slated for the Gretna Arena. 

According to Wiebe, the design work is now complete with respect to the entrance and washroom renovations, and a request for proposals/tender documents are being developed. 

"Hopefully, a contractor for the project will be confirmed in the next couple of months," he added. "The actual construction work is scheduled to start right after the winter season."

Planned upgrades include improved accessibility of the facility. Signage will be installed and renovations to the public washrooms will make the building more accessible to residents with disabilities. Building safety will also be enhanced through the installation of non-slip flooring in the viewing area and washrooms, and upgrades to the fire safety and exiting system.

Additionally, the facility is getting an improved roof and insulation, all exterior doors and windows with be replaced, ventilation upgraded, and old, outdated fixtures replaced with new low-flow fixtures to also improve water conservation. Once complete, these enhancements are expected to reduce the facility's energy consumption by an estimated 30.7% and greenhouse gas emissions by 0.17 tonnes annually.

Wiebe notes, those designs are part of the next stage of the process.

Originally pegged at $1 million dollars, with 80 per cent supported by the federal government's Green and Inclusive Community Buildings (GICB) program and the remaining 20 per cent covered by the Municipality, Wiebe says a revised cost estimate has come in slightly higher. The new total price tag is slated for $1.2 million. The federal grant remains at $798,000 and the Municipality will chip in a bit more to make up the difference.

Wiebe noted, there's also talk of installing a concrete floor in the arena in the future. This would allow the facility to be used for various events and activities year-round. "Hopefully, at some point in the near future, we can find enough support."

For more on what's happening the Municipality of Rhineland, listen to the latest episode of Reeve on the Radio featuring Reeve Don Wiebe.

~With files from Chris Sumner

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