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Group pleased with Pelham arena progress

PELHAM – December 12, 2017 – Pelham Mayor Dave Augustyn snaps a photo of the gymnasium at the new Pelham community centre, which is set to open mid-2018. He helped lead a tour of members from the architectural design advisory committee through the facility on Tuesday, showing them how their ideas are coming to life as the construction process continues.

There’s still plenty of work left to be done inside, but heated seats for parents who will be cheering on their children’s hockey games are being installed.

The flooring is being prepared for twin ice pads.

Wall studs await drywall.

While passersby have seen in recent months Pelham’s new community centre and arena take shape at Highway 20 and Rice Road, the inside has remained a mystery.


Until now.

Members of Pelham’s architectural design advisory committee got to take an inside tour of the new facility on Tuesday — and they like what they’re seeing.

The group was guided by Mayor Dave Augustyn, Ward 2 Coun. Gary Accursi, town recreation and culture director Vickie vanRavenswaay and site superintendent Doug Fehrenbach of Ball Construction.

On the tour, the group, joined by The Tribune, got to see pretty much every nook and cranny of the 12,870-square-metre facility at its current stage of construction.

Crews were working on stands with heated seats and the rink surface area in the Acciptier Arena, on change rooms and various other areas of the building. Tuesday’s visitors got a good idea of the space and how things will shape up as they walked through.

“It’s very, very impressive,” said committee chair John Nicol.

He said the 15-person committee advised council on what would be useful to the community in a centre such as this. The committee comprises people from all walks of life and community groups, trying to represent as much of the population as possible.

Having worked in human resources, Nicol said he’s no stranger to having to rally everyone and reign in ideas, but said this was a great group to work with.

As the committee members toured the facility, all were pleased with the what they were seeing.

The community centre carries a $36-million price tag.

It’s a two-floor multiuse facility that includes two ice rinks, a walking track, a large divisible gymnasium, community rooms and a spacious atrium.

Whether it’s for playing a sport, hosting an event or just coming to cheer someone else on, every bit of the building has a purpose and can potentially be used for many things.

“When you have the facilities, you can think that way and do it,” Augustyn said during the tour.

He said the centre will be a huge benefit to the community.

The construction will continue into 2018, but the goal is to have the building enclosed this month so construction can continue throughout the winter indoors.

“We’re not going to lose any time here now. It’s all warm and heated,” said Fehrenbach, noting that it will help save time on the project.

Despite the below-zero temperatures outside on Tuesday, the interior of the building was comfortable.

At last week’s Pelham town council meeting, politicians heard the project is nearly 98 per cent tendered, on track and on budget.

More information about the facility, including fundraising efforts with a goal of reaching $3 million, is available at

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Originally posted in the Welland Tribune – Written by Laura Barton on December 12, 2017