The Prince George Exhibition Grounds horse track is getting some changes this summer. The grandstands at the track are being removed by the city and will be replaced with portable stands for the moment said City of Prince George Community Arenas supervisor Brad Beckett.
“We had an assessment done of the grandstands and we discovered the grandstand was not in keeping with any of the current building codes nor any of the safety guidelines out there,” said Beckett.
The city has been in talks with the Central Interior Pony Racing Association, which is the main user group of the facility.
The demolition of the bleachers is being done because of new safety standards.
“Basically, the new standards call for a gap of no more than four inches between the floorboards. They are looking at the worst case scenario with a limb getting caught or a baby falling. And we didn’t have an adequate number of hand rails. The back rail spacing was too far apart for safety and the back rail itself wasn’t high enough,” said Beckett. “And structurally, it needed to be sandblasted and every weld and bolt inspected and the cost to do all that in relation to the amount of activity that is going on at that sight these days didn’t warrant spending that money to repair it.”
The bleachers are two-tiered, the top tier was added in the mid 1980’s.
Beckett said that the long term plans for seating will depend on the future of the Exhibition Grounds.
“There is an exhibition park master plan that is being made up,” said Beckett.