Posted: Sep 30, 2011, 1:30 AM
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Ottawa, Ontario
One year until civic centre doors open
As many may recall, the concept of a new civic centre in central Nova Scotia was rooted in our region's bid in 2007 to attract the 2011 Canada Winter Games
Although the region was unsuccessful in its bid, interest in developing a civic centre remained a high priority with the Truro town council, Colchester County council and residents of central Nova Scotia.
Thankfully, because of strong partnerships combined with the commitment and enthusiasm of hundreds of volunteers, the civic centre is indeed becoming a reality and one that is scheduled to open this time next year.
A lot has happened since 2007, including the town and county agreeing to fund the construction of the civic centre project (60 per cent county, 40 per cent town). Then, when opened, the facility will be operating at a 50/50 split between the two.
The Abenaki Road site was chosen as the future home of the Central Nova Scotia Civic Centre and then began the process of forming the project steering committee and all of the volunteers needed to transform such a significant project into reality.
Countless hours of planning continued into 2009, the user group space programming committee held several consultation sessions with a variety of stakeholders including sport groups, event programmers, arts and culture organizations, special interest groups and citizens to determine what components should be included in the facility to maximize programming options in an effort to appeal to a diverse range of recreational interests.
The findings from these sessions, coupled with the need to build within a budget, resulted in the following components to be included in the new centre:
• 2,600-seat event arena: NHL-size ice pad/seven change rooms
• three-land walking/jogging track
• aquatic centre: therapeutic leisure pool and eight-lane competitive pool
• fitness centre
• multi-purpose and meeting space
• rock climbing wall
• canteen/food service
• display space
• administrative and program space
• Colchester East Hants hospital administration space
2010 began with Prime Minister Stephen Harper arriving in Truro to announce a $10-million commitment to the project by the federal government.
This was the final piece of the government funding puzzle towards the project and provided the reassurance that the project was off and running.
From here, project architects Perkins Will sharpened their pencils and finalized the designs for the new centre and unveiled them to the community in September 2010 with construction beginning the same month.
Each week of 2011 has brought significant changes to the construction site. Hundreds of tons of concrete have been poured and its bones of structural steel have begun to dominate the horizon. This community health and recreation centre is now taking shape, and is truly becoming a reality.
The final piece of the puzzle is the success of the $5-million Ignite the Spirit Community Campaign and it is up to the residents of central Nova Scotia to support and ensure this vital component succeeds.
This centre is being built for the community and is much more than a place to swim and skate. It is an all encompassing facility that will offer something for everyone. There are many ways to donate to the campaign, all of which are outlined on our website www.ignitethespirit.ca or by phoning 893-9706.
Four years of anticipation are behind us now and our focus has changed to completing construction and opening the doors in September 2012.
If you have driven by the site you will see that steel is moving at a rapid pace and the work to the arena portion is near completion, slightly ahead of schedule. The steel roof decking is to be installed this week with roofing and masonry scheduled to begin and follow the progression of steel erection.
As indicated in last month's column, full building enclosure is scheduled to be completed by Jan. 1, 2012 when work will begin on the interior components.
I hope you enjoyed reminiscing the earliest beginnings of the civic centre and are pleased with how far we have come today.
If you have any questions or would like to share any comments, contact us at email@example.com or 893-9706.
TAGLINE: Kathy Sutherland is the fundraising/public relations co-ordinator for the Central Nova Scotia Civic Centre Project. She lives in Truro.