Plans to have a concrete floor installed at the Naujaat arena had to be put on hold until the spring of 2019 when shipping delays resulted in the materials arriving in the community too late for the project to be done this year.Hamlet senior administrative officer (SAO) Rob Hedley said the community is deeply disappointed by the delay.
He said the local Co-op partnered with the hamlet on the concrete floor, which will come-in at just under $100,000.
“The sealift was late bringing the material in, which was a little ironic because we actually had a film crew here doing a piece on the sealift,” said Hedley.
“Also, for next year, we’re trying to access funding so we can add artificial turf and have a year-round facility.
“We didn’t get a dime of government assistance on this. The Co-op contributed $50,000, Nunavut Sealink and Supply Inc. contributed $5,000 and Calm Air kicked in $5,000 without even being asked.
“We were going to wait until the concrete was down and we were happy with it, then we were going to apply for funding for the artificial turf so that, hopefully, once hockey season was over we’d sweep everything away, wait until it was warm enough and then lay down the turf so our youth could get into soccer, maybe lacrosse and whatever else we could accommodate.”
Hedley said like most Northern arenas, Naujaat’s only gets used for about half the year.
The SAO said it’s disappointing to have everything backed-up for a year, but there was simply no choice.
“You have no idea. We’re very, very disappointed. We tried everything, but our first sealift didn’t arrive here until Sept. 15.
“We were originally told it was going to be here in July and, were that the case, we wouldn’t have had a problem, but, with all the horrible weather we had and everything else, our sealift was 1.5-months behind.
“It was too cold by the time we got it in because concrete won’t cure (remain hard) at that temperature, even if we tried with heaters, so, basically, better to wait until next year rather than take any chances.
“They (NSSI) sent everything – concrete, rebar, you name it – so we got this done together and it’s much appreciated.”
Hedley said the local hockey community is really looking forward to having the concrete floor installed.
He said a lot of prep work, such as ensuring the natural ice bed in the arena was level, was done in anticipation of the project.
“We have the drainage plan in place, so when we do put the concrete down it will drain properly.
“It’s bedrock in there so it’s not going to move too much, but you have to worry about frost heave and such.
“Once it’s down, it’s going to be really, really nice – the ice will be better, more stable and easier to freeze because it won’t have to be so thick and we’ll have an extended season.
“Then, if we’re able to secure funding and get the artificial turf down, we can do almost anything in there … The sky’s the limit!”