Grande Prairie City Councillors voted against the idea of borrowing $2.75 million to be used for upgrades to the lobby for Revolution Place prior to finalizing their 2021 budget.
However, council did give the green light to just over $225,000 for work to be completed on a loading dock for the two-decade-old building.
Mayor Bill Given, who was one of three votes in favour of borrowing the cash, says while the majority of council did vote the idea down, they will continue to look at updates for the building.
“I voted against the motion because I believe Revolution Place will continue to be utilized for the foreseeable future,” he says.
“That being the case I thought it was a worthwhile investment to make some renovations that would offer operational benefits, as well as act as a little bit of a stimulus, putting tradespeople to work.”
Given adds $250,000 was already added to the budget next year so members of city administration can put together a study in regard to the long-term feasibility for Revolution Place. He suggests that could have been a major contributing factor in delaying work on the project.
“I think the majority of council felt that it would be better to consider whether or not we make investments into the existing building after that study had been done.”
It’s the second time that members of council have pumped the brakes on large-scale renovations for the city’s main arena. During budget consultations in November, council denied the for $55 million, which would have seen the capacity of the arena raised to 5,000 seats, a full-in-the-round second-level concourse area for access to all amenities, as well as additional concessions and washrooms.