Upgrades to Nelson’s Civic Arena, built in 1935, are now complete.
Over a 21-day period that ended last week, the building underwent a comprehensive maintenance overhaul that included repainting, the closure of some areas and addition of parking space to the arena’s west end.
The upgrade addressed issues related to the application of lead paint years ago, and increasingly prevalent air-borne mould issues resulting from the fact the building sits on an open-earth foundation — a practice common to the construction of homes and buildings erected in the 1930s.
“The arena was facing closure had we not tackled the issues head-on,” says Mayor Deb Kozak, “and that would have been a big disappointment to a lot of kids and adults alike. There are a dozen user groups who use the arena — it’s a busy place.”
Kozak says the paint issue has been completely mitigated by the application of new marine-grade paint throughout the arena’s dressing rooms and bleachers.
The mould issues have been addressed by sealing off parts of the arena where air quality was below acceptable levels, and restricting public access to those areas. That includes crawl spaces and storage spaces on the arena’s south side.
“Mould is naturally occurring in all the air we breathe, both inside and out,” says Kozak. “In some parts of the arena, mould particulate counts are in fact lower than the air outside.”
Kozak says Nelson residents can rest assured that all Civic Arena is safe for all uses.
She also thanked city staff and three local contractors who undertook the upgrade.
“The fact these workers were able to undertake such a sweeping improvement of the arena, in such a short amount of time is a real testament to their skills and commitment,” Kozak said. “The community is very thankful for the long days and terrific work.”