Art Hauser Centre getting upgrade this offseason

The Art Hauser Centre. City of Prince Albert photo.

This offseason, the city is hoping to move forward with a project that will see all of the existing Art Hauser Centre overhead arena lights replaced with, new, brighter, more energy-efficient LED fixtures.

A request for proposals for the project was posted to the SaskTenders website on March 25.

The change is part of the city’s efforts to comply with updated WHL standards. The new lights are required to be about 50 per cent brighter than what the city has inside the Art Hauser Centre.

“It’s one of the requirement within the Western Hockey League manual that we have to comply with. We have issued a request for proposal and will be prioritizing that project this offseason,” said community services director Jody Boulet.

The new lighting standard is required to be implemented by the 2019-20 season.

The new standard is both the quality required for TV production and for the quality of the playing surface. According to tender documents, the city’s budget for the project is $80,000.

Lighting is measured in terms of foot-candles, the equivalent of the light of a candle at a distance of one foot. The current Art Hauser lights, 400-watt metal halide lights, hover at about 100 foot-candles. WHL standards dictate they must be at least 150 foot-candles. The Art Hauser Centre has 102 lights over the playing surface.

While there will be a cost to replacing the lights, the new bulbs are expected to save the city money in the long run.

“It’s going to provide for some newer LED lighting …. That’s really efficient to operate, so it’s going to cost less,” Boulet said.

The city is also looking for other savings. It has requested in the RFP that bidding companies recover as many of the old materials as possible so they can be reused at other facilities, and to adapt what is currently in place to save additional funds.

“It will certainly help with the overall cost of the project if we can use any of the existing infrastructure,” Boulet said.

The city’s approach is similar to those taken by other rinks.

The Moose Jaw Warriors installed lights by their own volition at Mosaic Arena back in 2016. They spent more money, as they installed multi-coloured fixtures they could use for goal celebrations and other purposes.

The city held on to the old fixtures and bulbs for use at Yara Centre, Moose Jaw’s fieldhouse.