Sudbury

Rainbow District School Board to go ahead with plans for Lasalle soccer dome

Sudbury's Rainbow District School Board spent some big dollars Tuesday night on a dome, which has faced its share of controversy.

School board picking up half of $4.1 million price tag

The Rainbow District School Board is going ahead with plans to put $2 million into a domed field at Lasalle Secondary School. (CBC)

Sudbury's Rainbow District School Board is moving ahead with plans to build a soccer dome on the grounds of Lasalle Secondary School.

"I will happily support this expenditure of $2 million to support those students in a physical education facility that has multi-use and also has benefits to our community," trustee Dena Morrison said at Tuesday night's board meeting.

Morrison detailed the millions of dollars invested in other area high schools, including Confederation, Manitoulin and Lo-Ellen, while supporting the dome for Lasalle, which will also soon be home to a new consolidated elementary school.

Trustee Anita Gibson abstained from the vote, questioning the number of students from other schools who would benefit from the covered field.

She also asked some pointed questions about the ongoing maintenance costs for the soccer bubble, to be run in partnership with the Fabio Belli Foundation. 

"I think it was clear at the last meeting, I stated I wasn't happy with the level of information I received and I haven't received anything further," Gibson told her fellow trustees. 

Rainbow District School Board trustee Anita Gibson says she still hasn't been provided with enough information to support the Lasalle soccer dome. (Markus Schwabe/CBC)

The domed field is expected to open as early as this fall.

It has been a long road for those pushing for an indoor sports facility in Sudbury.

There was a proposal to build one at St. Charles College, spearheaded by late city councillor Fabio Belli, that eventually fell apart.

The plan to put the bubble at Lasalle was criticized for being too expensive at a time when the Rainbow board was closing schools to save money.

It also saw school trustee and city manager Tyler Campbell resign amid conflict of interest allegations when the city was looking to be involved in the dome. 

The previous Liberal government promised $4 million to the project, but that was scrapped last year when the Progressive Conservatives came to power.

Organizers have decided to go ahead with a smaller domed field than originally planned, that will cost $2 million less. 

About the Author

Erik White

journalist

Erik White is a CBC journalist based in Sudbury. He covers a wide range of stories about northern Ontario. Connect with him on Twitter @erikjwhite. Send story ideas to erik.white@cbc.ca

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