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City has 2020 vision for arena

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The City of North Bay says if the capital budget is passed at the next council meeting, it will include funding for a new arena.

The arena committee is still narrowing down sites and configurations, but committee chair Mark King says the full support of Council to include plans for a new arena, with a planned opening in 2020, in the capital budget is good news for the community.

Geotechnical studies have been undertaken at potential sites behind Memorial Gardens, and at the Steve Omischl Sports Complex. The West Ferris Community Centre on Gertrude Street has been ruled out by the committee as a viable site.

At last Tuesday’s council meeting, Councillor Jeff Serran raised the possibility of a partnership with the Near North District School Board on an arena build. Serran’s suggestion is to build on the current West Ferris Intermediate and Secondary School grounds.

Serran says that he feels that such a move may lessen the blow of losing the community centre and may placate West Ferris residents who recently turned out in numbers to oppose closing that same school. The proposal has not been officially endorsed by the school board but will be examined by the arena committee nevertheless.

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