Officials gave the media a tour of construction progress at the Rogers Place arena Tuesday morning.
As reported earlier this month, work at the site is on schedule and on budget – and now, also going vertical.
“Over the past six months, we’ve completed excavation, installed our 700 piles for the Rogers Place, the community rink and winter garden,” said Mike Staines, a construction manager with PCL.
Most of the event-level concrete slab has now been poured, and steel columns installed to support the main concourse and the 9,000-seat lower bowl.
“Throughout the next year, the changes will be phenomenal to those outside,” said Staines. “You’ll start to see the various levels and the exciting architecture of the building take shape.”
“The really exciting part for me is that we’re now starting to see the arena go vertical,” said Bob Black, an executive vice-president with the Katz Group. (CBC)
In total, 15,390 pieces of steel are going into the structure. That’s enough steel to stretch from Edmonton to Red Deer, said Bob Black, executive vice-president of the Edmonton Arena Corporation with the Katz Group.
Over the next year, work will continue on the upper concourse as the steel frame grows level by level. Vertical construction is expected to reach its full height by May or June 2015, said Staines.
The ice rink slab will go in next fall, he added.
The steel structural work is expected to take about a year to finish. The arena is slated to open in less than two years, just in time for the 2016 hockey season.
Winter garden work underway
To the south, work is also underway on the future winter garden – an indoor walkway that will arc over 104th Avenue, allowing arena visitors to safely cross over from the downtown core.
The winter garden will extend across 104th Avenue to the south. (Oilers Entertainment Group)
“The winter garden was really born of a challenge, but we believe it has become a tremendous opportunity to have a wonderful piece of architecture which will span overtop of 104th Avenue, which will create a grand entrance to the arena,” said Black.
“This design has been a labour of love for a long time by the project team. We’ve worked really closely with the city of Edmonton to make sure we have a facility that will morph seamlessly from one event to another, that will have the flexibility to be a great venue for a hockey game but a day later will be a great venue for a concert or other kind of event.”
Black said footings for the winter garden are already evident, and construction will also start going vertical there soon.
In addition to the unique front entrance, Rogers Place will also be rare in that it will have no back door. Instead, the loading dock will be integrated into surrounding private sector developments.