North Bay is getting $25.77 million in federal funding for a new community recreation centre.
The 85,000-square-foot facility at the Omischl Sports Complex on Lakeshore Drive, which still needs council approval, will include two ice pads, a walking track and a multi-use meeting space.
Anthony Rota, Member of Parliament for Nipissing-Timiskaming says it’ll be a net-zero carbon facility.
“That’s what makes this project so exciting,” he says.”One is providing a service that is very much needed in the city, but when you add to that it’s a net-zero project, this is leading edge.“
Al McDonald, Mayor of North Bay, says this project has been ten years in the making and is transformational for the community.
“There are people here that are going to be bringing their kids and grandkids to this facility 40 to 50 years from now. This isn’t just about tomorrow,” he says. “We’re shovelling the snow off of West Ferris Arena so we can keep it going.”
McDonald says with approximately 345,000 visits per year, the city’s arenas are the most used recreational facilities in the community.
He also says this project is attracting further interest in the West Ferris area.
“There are developers that now want to develop properties and hotels here because of all this infrastructure,” he says. ”They’re not building it because of the casino, they’re building it because they know there’s going to be hundreds and hundreds of people here on a weekly basis.”
McDonald says the next council will have the final vote on the project, with shovels potentially in the ground next spring, if approved.
That will be followed by an estimated 18-24 month construction timeline.
“City council needs to approve to move to the Request for Proposals, once we receive the quotes from the contractors then we will know what the actual price is,” says Councillor Johanne Brousseau, Chair of Community Services.
The cost of the project was last estimated at $52 million.