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Apr

25

Crystal Centre Master Plan presented to Grande Prairie Council

CEI teamed with PricewaterhouseCoopers and Bird Construction to prepare a new Master Plan for the expansion of the Crystal Centre in Grande Prairie. The report was presented to Council on April 1st, and the City has already started to move forward on several of the recommendations.

The Crystal Centre is the City’s main entertainment venue and includes the Bowes Family Crystal Gardens (a 17,000 square foot flat-floor assembly hall) and the Canada Games Arena (a 2,900-seat spectator facility). CEI’s Conrad Boychuk had prepared an earlier expansion plan for the facility in 2003, and has continued working with General Manager Jane Cada-Sharp.

The current project has similarities to CEI’s recently completed Thunder Bay Event Centre Phase 2 Feasibility Study, where the final list of building components was based on a business case assessment.  A critical review of the Northern Alberta market and an analysis of competing facilities were essential to identifying the needs of a renewed Crystal Centre. Like Thunder Bay, the consulting team was headed by Conrad Boychuk and Ron Bidulka of PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Features of the expanded “market-driven” Crystal Gardens include:

Canada Games Arena
- 5,000 fixed seats,
- 20 private suites,
- greatly expanded back-of-house area including storage, an enclosed loading and bus parking area,
- atrium lobby specific to the Arena,
- relocated Administration space and new Hockey Team Administration area,

Bowes Family Crystal Gardens
- additional 5,000 sq ft extension of the high-volume meeting hall,
- additional 3,000 sq ft of exhibition and pre-function space,
- additional 3,000 sq ft of flexible meeting room space,
- expanded back-of-house and loading area allowing larger vehicles to enter the space,
- expanded kitchen facilities.

The Crystal Centre will expand by 73% from the existing 104,626 square feet to 180,803 square feet. Overall construction cost of the project is estimated at $37,042,000. Soft costs such as a new scoreboard, venue-oriented equipment, and design fees will take the project up to $44,046,400.

Both the Crystal Centre report, and the CEI/PwC April 1st presentation to Council are on the City’s website.

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