The City of Meadow Lake recently announced it has awarded a design-build contract for the community’s new multiplex facility to Quorex Construction Services Ltd. The project will be completed by Quorex with Workun Garrick Partnership as their design partner. Other specialists and firms will also be working as part of this design-build team in an effort to give the Meadow Lake area the best possible end-product.

Construction on the project is expected to begin later this year. When complete, the new facility will house a National Hockey League-size arena, an administration core and a field house.

In the fall of 2022, the city received confirmation of investments from the Government of Canada (up to $14,932,023) and the Government of Saskatchewan (up to $12,442,108) to help build the new facility. The total investment under the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) including the city’s portion under the grant is $37.3 million.

“Whether it’s hockey in the winter or soccer in the summer, sport brings communities together,” stated Dominic LeBlanc, federal minister of intergovernmental affairs, infrastructure and communities. “The residents of Meadow Lake can look forward to seeing this new facility become a reality – one where friendships will be made, and memorable games will be played.”

This was echoed by Meadow Lake MLA Jeremy Harrison.

“The Government of Saskatchewan’s more than $12.4 million investment toward this Meadow Lake multiplex project will not only contribute to this facility becoming a reality, but once completed will help create new memories of competitive hockey games, fun recreational activities and memorable gatherings,” Harrison remarked on behalf of Don McMorris, the province’s minister of government relations. “In other words, when this new multiplex opens, it will stand as a testament to the resiliency, hard work and cooperation of everyone in the Meadow Lake area – and will strengthen the heart of all of the communities that call this special part of Saskatchewan home.”

The city is responsible for funding the remainder of the project. The bulk of the city’s funding is expected to come from the insurance proceeds following a fire in 2021 at the previous Meadow Lake and District Arena. City council committed an additional $5 million when applying for ICIP funding, and another $9.5 million May 8. The total budget for this project is now $51.83 million.

Council is considering various options when it comes to funding the remainder of this project. Now, with the support of the RM of Meadow Lake, city officials say that job is a little easier.

“We are working hard to source the funding we’ve now committed to include the field house portion,” noted mayor Merlin Seymour. “The RM has generously committed to support the addition of the field house to the project in the amount of $2,379,020 and we couldn’t be more thankful for their support. That means the city will now just need to source $7,620,980 to build the field house. That certainly seems more do-able than a whole $9.5 million.”

When it comes to the regional impact of such a project, the RM of Meadow Lake felt its support was important.

“We unanimously agreed to offer the funding in support of adding the field house to this project,” said RM of Meadow Lake reeve Dale Sheppard. “A field house would be a real benefit to residents across the region. The RM has always supported recreation provided by the city and this is just an extension of that support. We still have details to work out and negotiate on how that will work, but we hope to have an official funding agreement signed with the city soon.”

The project team is investigating opportunities to incorporate event centre programming and functionality within the proposed design solution.

“We’re pretty excited to get things moving on this project with Quorex and Workun Garrick,” said Meadow Lake parks and recreation manager Regan Beck. “As far as I see it, they were the company that really understood what the city needed, took the city’s feedback to heart throughout the process, and provided the best value for dollar in their proposal. I think their proposed design really hit the mark. While the project might look a little different than originally intended, we really do think we are getting the best possible value for our dollar with Quorex. We do have plans to move forward adding the field house and there is some potential for some kind of event space as well.”