It was announced during Monday nights council meeting that the City of Estevan will reopen the 60-year old Civic Auditorium pending approval from a local insurance company.
According to Mayor Roy Ludwig, the insurance report could come as early as this week or next.
"I think between the two reports it helped us arrive at the decision," explained Ludwig. "Right now it all depends on the insurance, I'm quite confident we'll be able to get the insurance. Then we go through the review, we'll get the RFP out right away for the structural review to get an in depth report on exactly what's needed structurally. Once that is done we'll look at the costs moving forward. I think we probably have enough money to cover the necessary fixes, and then from there the building stays open until the end of the season and now we have two to three months to review the engineering structural report that comes out and see what other modifications we have to look at coming out of that."
"All that has to happen before the Civic reopens is number one, that we can get insurance and number two, the rods that are under stress from the sinking of the pillars that have sunk 1-2 inches in some locations, those will have to be released and the rods that are too loose in some areas will have to be tightened. That's a 2-3 day job, that has to be done before we can open along with the insurance."
After council, Ludwig was clear that himself and other counselors heard the hockey communities voice for the need of a third ice surface in Estevan.
"Lot's of feedback from hockey people and we understand that because they really feel we do need that ice surface and I understand that if we don't have that third ice a lot of them are driving to our immediate locales and we absolutely understand that. There is a lot of big issues, so as a council we have to be aware of everything. What we would like to do is open the Civic for the rest of the season, get all of these other ongoing issues flushed out and make an informed decision for the benefit of our community."
Although the Civic is expected to reopen upon approval from the insurance company(who Ludwig didn't feel comfortable mentioning), plenty of work is ahead in order to get the old barn up to standards.
"The only issue that we can't forget about which is also very important. The electrical and mechanical are at their life ends, so they will continue to nickel and dime us on top of these other costs, I just want everyone to be aware of that, we're not pulling any punches, this isn't pie in the sky. Those are ongoing issues that we will be looking at on top of the immediate issues to get it open"
"We as a council are not looking at putting good money after bad and then still having an old building that's in disrepair. If we can fix it structurally and work around the issues to keep it open safely for the hockey parents and kids, that's fine, we're willing to do that, we wan't to do that. Once we open, the structural engineer can go about his job of doing the report. What comes out of that report, what we have to do to fix to keep it structurally sound, that's what council will be looking at doing and then finishing the season."