Railings to be added to rinks A & B in new complex

By Karen Fallon

Max DeAngelis, contractor for the United Credit Union Community Complex spoke before council about the installation of stairwell railing in rinks A and B in the United Credit Union Community Complex at Monday’s meeting.

An estimated $40,000 is the price tag to manufacture and install the stainless steel railings.

Citing safety concerns council agreed to add the handrails in both rinks at the complex.

Although not part of  the original design build project, DeAngelis says the work can easily be added in rink A, whereas rink B will require more work because the aisle way is a little narrower and the floor has geo-thermal heating lines within it.

According to the Ontario Building Code the railing are not a requirement for stadium style seating,” noted Stephen Brown, Amherstburg’s Chief Building Official, who added that he has not received any complaints about the lack of railings.

In the design of the complex accessible seating has been provided at the top row of each section.

However, says councillor Diane Pouget it is not always conducive for some people who are handicapped to be separated from their family members by always having to sit in assigned seating on the top rows after taking the elevator to that level.

“Many people are saying you built it for $24-million and if you can’t afford $40,000 for safety there is something wrong,” said Pouget. “We certainly don’t want to live with the fact if someone gets hurt.”

Councillor John Sutton pointed out that DeAngelis met or exceeded expectations of the town when constructing the facility.

“I certainly don’t want you walking away with any type of bad taste in your mouth,” said Sutton.   “This is a further enhancement to an already wonderful building that you went to great lengths to ensure would be enjoyed by all the public.”

One response to “Railings to be added to rinks A & B in new complex”

  1. Alex says:

    While it is understandable why people want railings, there are other things to consider.

    The viewing of the ice surface is already inhibited by the design of the seating and the glass/rail partitions. It is regretful to say anything negative about such a beautiful complex, but time and again, we hear a lot of complaints of the blocked viewing area. While Rink B’s viewing is worse than Rink A, they both have issues with being able to see the ice surface clearly.

    Many rumblings that going on in the arena probably do not make it to those who should be hearing them. Rink B – Overall seat viewing is terrible. The angle of the seating does not allow for comfortable viewing of the ice. People are constantly leaning forward to see everything, which in turn, blocks the views further for others in the stands. Standing room is fantastic, but the view is terrible. Unless you are over 6′ tall, you cannot see most of the ice. A lot of issues seems to be related to the steepness/angles of the seating and platform.

    Rink A – Basically the same issues but not quite as extreme. People constantly leaning forward because they can’t see, further upsetting other patrons because now they are being blocked by other people.

    It is very frustrating when you are trying to watch a game and you’ve come to terms with the short comings of the view but only then to have to deal with everyone else who may not think to be so considerate of others who are also trying to view the game.

    Installing railings is only going to block more of the viewing area and it is very frustrating when you cannot see the whole ice surface.

    Possibly, for those who need the railings, it should be suggested that they use the upper half of the seating area. That would solve the issues of safety with the stair climbing for those who have trouble with that.

    There will always be issues in everything and no one will ever completely be satisfied. Safety, of course, is very important. I, myself, having aging parents who are at the arena all the time. I do believe that quick solutions are not always the best. Please point out the fact that people who are having trouble with stairs, use the upper seating.

    While bringing up seating, I think a selected few seats should be over-sized for larger patrons. Also installation of seats along the corners of the lobby end of the ice pads should be installed. Lastly, a set perimeter should be marked as ‘no standing zone’ for those patrons who find it too cold in the arena and who would like to take advantage of the beautiful seating arrangements at the glass inside the lobby.

    Please pass this comment along to those who are involved in this issue.

    Amherstburg definitely has a premier facility. Let’s try and make things better for all. Thanks again.