Report to Thunder Bay council recommends original site for indoor sports facility
Estimated cost overruns suggest higher-priced original site would provide best value
September 7, 2023 By Turf & Rec
A recommendation will be presented to city council in Thunder Bay, Ont. on Monday to reaffirm Chapples Park as the site for a new indoor sports and recreational facility.
The recommendation, contained in a report from city administration, cites the park as the preferred site for the facility. Chapples Park was originally chosen as the location for the proposed indoor sports facility, but the project was stalled when the federal government opted not to invest in it. The price tag was estimated at $46 million.
As a concession, Soccer Northwest Ontario (SNO) stepped in with a plan for a hangar-like facility proposed next to the Canada Games Complex that would cost less than half of the Chapples Park project estimate. The report being presented to council, however, suggests SNO’s proposal will actually cost between $32 million and $52 million while the Chapples Park location price tag would be adjusted to between $46 million and $56 million.
The report recommends council sticks to its original plan. Taking into account such aspects as energy costs and the facility’s expected lifespan, the Chapples option provides higher value, the report suggests.
SNO officials fear reverting to the Chapples option won’t be embraced by council, leaving the project dead in the water.
If council approves the recommendation, a funding strategy will need to be devised by Nov. 6 before a decision to proceed is made. If there are no roadblocks, construction could begin as early as May 2025.
This article is part of the Municipalities Week.
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