Halifax Regional Council is pushing forward with a site and building plan for the possible redevelopment of the Halifax Forum.
On Tuesday night, the council directed the chief administrative officer to provide more details on the potential project, shortly.
“I think we have to bite the bullet on this and get something done,” said Halifax Major Mike Savage.
Two years ago, the cost to tear down and rebuild the Forum facility, which included two rinks and two community halls, was roughly $80 million.
It has now soared to $110 million.
Savage said the city needs to make a decision soon.
“The only thing that scares me more than $110 million today is what it might be in two years if we don’t do something,” said Savage.
Neil Samson has been using the Forum parking lot as a taxi stand for the past 35 years.
When Samson first heard of the $110, million price tag:
“I was shocked. Not a good idea, I don’t think,” said Samson.
Potential plans to rebuild the forum, including tearing down the entire property and replacing it with two arenas and a modern community hall. For that to happen, the Forum would need to be deregistered as a heritage property.
“Saving the outside of the building, the façade is all that is required,” said HRM Councilor Waye Mason. “There is no requirement to save any of the inside of the building.”
A rendition of what a new and improved Halifax Forum might look like is seen in this photo. (Contributed)
Mason added the detailed design will determine the overall cost, and how much of this building can be saved.
“The question is, after they do that analysis, will there be enough left to even say that we are saving the heritage,” said Mason.
CTV asked Halifax resident Brian Joyce if a sports facility should have heritage status.
“Hmmm, I don’t think,” said Joyce.
Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame CEO and President Bruce Rainnie, politely disagrees, based on 96 years of Forum sports history.
“To see this was deregistered, to me, it would be a disservice and a shame,” said Rainnie, who added the hall of fame has a charity bingo relationship with the Forum.
“It allows us to be a self-sustaining operation that can offer free educational programming around the province.”
HRM Council is expected to decide within the next year. A new forum facility would likely be completed no later than 2028.