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Halifax Regional Council will choose one of two options for aging Forum
HALIFAX -- Halifax Regional Council will soon be presented with two options on what to do with the aging Halifax Forum.
The Halifax Forum first opened in 1927 and many Haligonians have fond memories of the building.
"This is part of Halifax's history," said Paul Card, the Halifax Forum redevelopment committee chair.
It's more than just a hockey arena, though. It's also a community hub and a centrepiece of urban recreational activity.
"Non-ice related visits are approximately 500,000 a year," Card said.
While the forum is showing its age, there's a "certain nostalgia" that's attached to it, Card said.
"There are some flaws, but you overlook them," said broadcaster John Moore.
The building needs upgrades and, next month, Halifax Regional Council and staff will announce the fate of the Forum.
One option is to renovate the entire property.
CTV News has learned possible renovation plans include a new roof and seats, improved lighting, and accessibility. It would also involve removing the posts that obstruct the view for some fans.
"From the board's perspective, we want to redevelop the historic spirit of the forum back to where it was years ago," Card said.
The second possible option is to tear it down and build a brand new facility.
It's the latest chapter in a controversial forum debate that dates back more than 30 years.
Card doesn't think a new building is necessary, but it could happen.
He hopes it's a longshot possibility.
"It is a heritage building -- a designated heritage building," Card said. "Council would have to be awfully brave to tear down a heritage building -- their own heritage building down."
Moore wants major renovations to be done in a way that preserves the forum's historic footprint.
"You'd want to keep its charm and keep as much character as you possibly could," Moore said.
Card says the forum has started to crumble and these possible upgrades are long overdue.
"There has not been a major capital investment in the Halifax Forum in many many years," Card said.
A decision on the fate of the facility needs to be made soon.
It's old, it's nostalgic, and even the people who want to save the Forum say there are many upgrades needed.
It's important to point out that the Forum turns a profit.
A recent five-year financial analysis shows the facility had an operating surplus of more than $1 million.