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Creating a community hub: Clarington Council approves a plan for new South Bowmanville Recreation Centre

Posted on Tuesday October 29, 2019

Clarington October 29, 2019/- The plan for a new South Bowmanville Recreation Centre is moving forward. Clarington Council approved the preliminary vision for the new recreation facility that will act as a “community hub,” a gathering point for activity, engagement and interaction. Council also directed staff to proceed with an application for Federal and Provincial grant funding. If approved, it would cover approximately 73 per cent of the cost of building a new facility.

Council approved a phased approach to building the new South Bowmanville Recreation Centre, expanding the existing Bowmanville Indoor Soccer/Lacrosse Bowl. The first phase would include a twin-pad arena with NHL-sized ice surfaces. It would also include a large indoor walking track, a large gymnasium, multi-purpose community and programming space, a library branch, as well as a customer service area with office space. The estimated public opening for the first phase would be fall of 2023. The second phase would include an aquatic facility with a 25-metre, eight-lane main pool, and a large therapeutic pool. It would also include a fitness facility.

“Building a facility of this size in two phases is crucial to managing the cost,” explains George Acorn, Acting Director of Community Services. “In designing the facility concept, we reached out to the public to consult. The plan for the new facility is based on extensive research into demographics, community trends and best practices in the industry. We feel that this facility concept will help support Clarington’s recreation and community needs well into the future,” added Acting Director Acorn.

To help cover the cost of building a facility this size, the Municipality will apply for a funding grant from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) under the community, culture and recreation category. This is a cost-sharing grant with approximately $470 million available in federal funding and $320 million available in provincial funding. As outlined on the Government of Ontario website, the grant “will support projects that improve the quality of life,” for residents across the province. If approved, the combined grant will cover approximately 73 per cent of the cost, with Clarington contributing nearly 27 per cent of the cost. Phase one of the project is estimated to cost approximately $48 million. Council will consider the budget for the project when it ratifies Clarington’s capital and operating budget on January 20, 2020.

In designing the concept for the new South Bowmanville Recreation Centre, Clarington consulted residents and various sporting organizations who use Municipal facilities. During the consultation period, Clarington heard from 2,177 residents who completed an online survey that focused specifically on facility design and components. Nearly 90 people participated in a Community Forum which was held to facilitate discussion and establish feedback on preferred facility components including indoor ice, swimming pools, fitness/wellness, multi-purpose space, and gymnasium.

In prioritizing the phases of construction, Clarington staff determined that there is a critical lack of ice availability in the community for both public skating and minor hockey. Also, some of Clarington’s existing ice facilities are ageing and reaching their end of life, requiring the Municipality to address this issue. The Municipality also needs flexible program space that can be utilized by residents of all ages. The staff report contains all the details of the plan for the South Bowmanville Recreation Centre.

“Council decided that building a new recreation facility is critical to support our growing population and added this priority to its Strategic Plan,” said Clarington Mayor Adrian Foster. “The location for this signature community hub is central and will not only serve local residents, it will also play a key role in attracting visitors to a signature facility able to host and support sporting events,” added Mayor Foster.

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Media Contact:
Basia Radomski
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905-623-3379 ext. 2214

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