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Orléans residents cry foul over sports dome

Residents in Orléans are crying foul over a plan to build an all-season sports dome in their neighbourhood.

School board says proposed all-season dome will be 'beautiful'

Illustrations unveiled at the meeting show the sports dome to the right of École secondaire catholique Garneau. (Hillary Johnstone/CBC)

Residents in Orléans are crying foul over a plan to build an all-season sports dome in their neighbourhood.

At a community meeting at École secondaire catholique Garneau Thursday night, some attendees erupted into laughter while others booed when the superintendent of the school board behind the proposal called the dome "beautiful."

The proposed site, currently occupied by two baseball diamonds, sits next to the school on Carrière Street.

Dozens of residents attended a community meeting Thursday at École secondaire catholique Garneau, where revamped plans for the sports dome were unveiled. (Hillary Johnstone/CBC)

The school board said the dome would be modelled after one in Stittsville, which is 23.5 metres high.

"It's just not acceptable," said France Léveillé, who lives in the area. "It's a very, very, very small, little area. You don't see any domes of that size that close to residential houses [usually]," she said.

France Léveillé lives in Orléans and says she's worried building the air-filled dome near houses will create a 'precedent' in the neighbourhood. (Hillary Johnstone/CBC)

Numerous concerns

The school board first presented plans for the dome in May, but altered them after some in the area expressed concerns. The revamped plans include more green space, according to the school board's superintendent.

But adding a few more trees doesn't solve the main concerns, said the president of the Chateauneuf Community Association.

Pat Teolis, president of the Chateauneuf Community Association, says residents are worried about what the dome might do to their property values. (Hillary Johnstone/CBC)

"When you have a dome that size near residences, there's issue with drainage, there's issue with wind, strong wind hitting the dome and spiraling over ... also the noise from the machines that keep the building inflated," said Pat Teolis.

Teolis said residents are also worried about the extra traffic the dome would bring, as well as its impact on their property values.

Big investment

The school board's superintendent said it's looking to invest between $5 million and $6 million dollars in the project, and is currently looking for potential partners.

The dome would be used by students at nearby École secondaire catholique Garneau and École élémentaire catholique Saint-Joseph d'Orléans, as well as other students who could be bussed to the facility. 

"Students will have a first-class facility," said Jason Dupuis, the school board superintendent.

The school board is hoping to have the dome built by March 2021, according to Jason Dupuis, superintendent of Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est. (Hillary Johnstone/CBC)

"In the evenings and the weekends the residents of Orléans will have access to this. They deserve it. There's nothing comparable to this in the east end," Dupuis said.

Zoning change required 

Dupuis said the dome would be a multi-use, all-season facility where residents could play sports such as volleyball, soccer and football.

In April 2017, a similar dome in Nepean deflated while people were inside. No one was injured.

Coun. Laura Dudas, who represents the area and attended Thursday's meeting, said the area's zoning would need to be amended to accommodate the dome.

Dudas said the city has not yet received a formal application from the school board.

The school board said it hopes to have the dome built by March 2021.

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