Meeting set to discuss Brussels arena expansion - March 29, 2018
BY SHAWN LOUGHLIN
The Brussels, Morris and Grey Recreation Committee (BMGCC) is looking for the public’s input on April 16 with hopes of expanding the local arena.
Huron East Councillor Alvin McLellan spoke to the issue at council’s March 20 meeting, saying that a meeting has been scheduled for next month.
In an interview with The Citizen, McLellan said that he and other members of the committee had been approached often in recent years by residents wondering when improvements would be made to their beloved BMGCC.
It’s no secret that the centre lacks change room space; it’s an issue that has been on council’s agenda for a number of years. However, no action has been taken.
McLellan said that the committee finally began looking into it in earnest, obtaining a quote from the same company that worked to expand the Seaforth and District Community Centre several years ago.
Abi Corbett, the manager of the centre, said that rough estimates of the project indicate that the addition of four change rooms would cost approximately $750,000.
McLellan said that he and the committee felt it was appropriate to bring the concept to the public. Not only did they hope to get input from members of the public as to what they want and need in their local community centre, but what fundraising options there are and what the community can afford.
The existing change rooms at the arena, McLellan said, are far too small for today’s players with modern equipment. He also said that with a growing number of girls playing hockey in Brussels, the need for additional change rooms has grown along with it.
McLellan said that the community’s service groups, including the Brussels Optimists and Lions Clubs, have always shown a willingness to dig deep when a worthy project presents itself in the community, not to mention the community’s residents and businesses.
Initially, McLellan thought that the $150,000 from the sale of the former Brussels school would provide adequate seed money for a project at the community centre, which was also recommended by staff. However, Huron East Council opted to put those proceeds into the municipality’s general funds, McLellan said, so those funds won’t be available unless council has a change of heart.
On Monday, April 16 at 7 p.m. in the auditorium of the BMGCC, the committee is planning a presentation and then a discussion to follow featuring committee members, service club representatives and members of the public. McLellan said he feels this should be a very open process with members of the public having their say in regards to their community centre.