NORTH BAY -- Updated plans to build a new community twin-pad rink and recreation centre in North Bay show it will cost as much as $34 million.

In January, the cost was listed at around $30 million.

So why the discrepancy? City officials say the project parameters have changed, and it's now going to be a bigger arena.

"We have to be realistic," said city councillor Johanne Brousseau. "We are building this for the citizens of North Bay first … The tourism and added tournaments, that's a bonus."

In a community services meeting on Tuesday, architects gave an update on the building design and cost projections for the facility.

"We are looking for, around the whole rink, a lively and fun spectator experience," architect Marc Downing told the committee.

Among the modifications being proposed are more change rooms, an increase in the number of seats at both pads and an overall facility size increase to 85,000 square feet from 74,600.

"It's quite natural over the course of a design development for a building to expand and shrink by 2,000 or 3,000 square feet at a time," said Downing.

The city is still working on crunching the numbers during the pandemic. Mayor Al McDonald said if the city doesn't vote to get the new facility built, it could cause issues in the future.

"It just means that three, four, five years down the road, we could be without three arenas," said McDonald.

A funding application has been made to both the provincial and federal governments to help cover three-quarters of the cost, leaving the city to pay between $7 million and $8 million.

"This 85,000 square foot facility is what we are going to be voting on and that there's not going to be any more changes, but, there might just be minor tweaks," said Brousseau.

The next step will see the architects complete the drawings and have them ready for bidders who want to build the project.

The city will then decide whether to go to tender or delay things due to the pandemic.