During the recent municipal election campaign and subsequent to his re-election, Mayor Craig has made it very clear that developing a multi-purpose sportsplex is at the top of his agenda. Despite criticism from residents that the project will cost taxpayers too much money, Mayor Craig fully intends to move forward with the development. The next step in the project is securing a site, and last week it was finally revealed where Mayor Craig is looking to build the sportsplex.
In a move to save money and ease some of the burden on taxpayers, the City of Cambridge hopes to partner with Conestoga College and build the facility on College-owned land off Fountain St., south of the 401. City staff contend that partnering with Conestoga to develop the 150,000 + sq. ft. sportsplex "would achieve efficiencies that would otherwise not exist in an independent venture." Under the proposed terms, the city would enter into a long-term land lease with Conestoga College, for between 8 and 12 hectares, for $2.5 million ... saving $3.5 million from than the $6 million that the City had budgeted for. In addition to the land acquisition savings, the partnership with the College will also see efficiencies in facility maintenance costs, as well as an increase in the likelihood that the facility could include retail, a sports medicine practice, culinary space, or Region of Waterloo daycare space.
A total budget of $53 million has already been approved for the project, which includes land acquisition, site preparation, design, and construction of the facility. The City's minimum requirements for the facility are two ice pads, a pool, a walking track and space for the Cambridge Sports Hall of Fame. Construction is expected to begin in 2018, however Conestoga College representatives are quick to point out that no agreement has been signed to date.
Do you like this location? Do you think this project is a waste of money? We would love to hear your comments, as this story will continue to make news over the next few years.
Sources: City of Cambridge, The Record