Hampton making final tweaks to arena's design before spring

Hampton's mayor says the town had a "good meeting" last week in Moncton with engineers to finalize details on the Hampton Multipurpose Facility.

Bob Doucet said that the meeting Thursday offered chances to finalize details like electrical components, seating and washrooms for the facility, which will feature a 539-seat arena, walking track and meeting rooms.

"We're down to the nitty gritty of deciding what has to go in in terms of seating," Doucet said. "We have to finalize that before it goes out for tender."

He said tenders for concrete and steel are done, the engineers are preparing plans for a final review, and the hope is to get Bird Construction trailers on site the last week of March to break ground April 1.

"It's pretty exciting times, they're rolling along and everything seems to be going pretty good that way," Doucet said.

The mayor said in January that cost predictions are running closer to $28 million, after it was approved last year at a cost of $20.75 million. That was after the town went back to funding partners following an initial cost spike from the first cost estimate of $15.5 million.

"Once the tenders all come in at a certain point, we'll be able to put together ... a price that's more accurate," Doucet said. That amounts to estimates versus actual charges, with Doucet saying project managers at Bird are working with a "rough cost" until the tenders come in.

Council also met Tuesday and heard back on the results of a tender for a branding consultant, which had a handful of respondents and which the town will be reviewing, Doucet said. A second tender for a fundraising consultant should come soon.

"We've been so focused on getting prepared for this facility, there's so much that comes with it. This is the first time we've ever done something this big," Doucet said. "It's coming together pretty good, actually, we'll just wait for all the tenders to be put out and closer costing."

Andrew Bates, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal