Sudbury

City of Elliott Lake rolls out design of $38 M community wellness hub

The City of Elliott Lake is hoping for funding for a 100,000 square foot community wellness hub that has been in the planning stages for 10 years. The application was put in at the end of November and involves the municipality cost-sharing with the provincial and federal governments.

One roof will shelter a pool, fitness facility, curling sheets, arena

The City of Elliott Lake plans to build a community wellness hub on the site where the Algo Centre Mall used to stand. (Olivia Stefanovich/CBC)

The City of Elliott Lake is hoping for government funding to construct a 100,000 square foot community wellness hub that has been in the planning stages for 10 years.

The application was put in at the end of November and involves the municipality cost-sharing with the provincial and federal governments.

Dan Gagnon is the Chief Administrative Officer for the City of Elliott Lake.

He expects the entire project to cost $38 million and will replace existing aging infrastructure such as the municipal pool.

"We're basically trying to take all of our currently aging, and very costly to maintain recreational assets, and put it all under one roof," says Gagnon.  "So we're looking at a new municipal pool that would be able to host swim meets that we've come accustomed to. We have a very competitive club. We have the new arena for the junior team and for the community at large. The five-sheet curling pad, some multi-purpose functional sort of gym space or space for active living, retirement center, things like that,"

Gagnon says part of their application focuses on the need for lifestyle and recreational assets in the town.

"Given that we're a retirement center, our entire economy is based on attracting retirees from elsewhere in the province to move here, and our aging facilities are starting to become a bit of a disincentive," he says.

Gagnon says the province will review the funding applications and provide a short list of applicants or projects that will be recommended to the federal government over the winter.

He says they're hoping both levels of government to approve or at least clarify over the winter which projects get the green light so the city can start incurring expenses in the spring-summer of 2020 and then begin construction in earnest in 2021.

The hub is to be built downtown, on the site where the Algo Centre Mall collapsed in 2012, killing two people.

That may be controversial in the community for some, but Gagnon says it's a good location that may bring traffic back to the merchants in the area.

"There is some debate in the community on that but at the very least seeing something happening on that site is certainly going to be welcome. For most residents," he says.

 

Kate Rutherford

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