If the public school board follows through as planned and puts a large parking lot on the Scott Park property, the area would double as a great place for tailgate parties, one city councillor says.
A Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board committee voted Monday to put a new high school on the King George/Parkview land, and put its 165-space parking lot 200 metres down the street at Scott Park.
That lot would be a great location for Ticats tailgate parties on weekends, Coun. Lloyd Ferguson said.
“It gets us closer to a better experience for that stadium,” he said of the parking lot.
Tailgate parties are “a big part of the sporting experience,” said Ferguson, who chairs the city’s Pan Am precinct subcommittee. “If there’s a big parking lot where people can do that, I think it’ll enhance the precinct.”
The Pan Am precinct has seen a flurry of activity this year. Ivor Wynne stadium has been demolished, and crews are building a new $145-million stadium known as Tim Hortons Field.
Structural steel on the stadium is about 95 per cent complete, staff told the subcommittee on Tuesday. Now it’s entering “fit and finish” mode, Ferguson said, and should be open in July 2014.
The city plans to build a recreation centre next door to the board’s new parking lot. The new $31.8-million school will fit 1,250 students and include a full-size soccer field.
To finalize the decision, the school board has to ratify it on Oct. 28. It still has to expropriate the Scott Park land for an undetermined amount of money to demolish the former high school and put down the parking lot.
The board’s decision Monday will not impact the stadium or the nearby community centre, said Gerry Davis, manager of public works.
“Whatever the school board’s final decision is, it will complement the stadium project,” he said.
He also mentioned that the parking lot could benefit Ticats games on the weekends. As for whether the city might have formal discussions with the board, “I don’t know at this point in time,” he said.
Ticats president Glenn Gibson said he was happy with the board’s decision, adding that he thought it would be a “dynamic, innovative school.”
“As the major tenant of (the stadium), clearly having those spaces there, we’re going to look to leverage it,” he said.