DAN CEARNS The Standard
SCUGOG: The Township of Scugog is continuing to rethink the replacement of the Blackstock Arena after seeing some hefty costs in the building condition assessment for the Blackstock Recreation Complex.
At a meeting on Monday, November 6th, councillors saw a report with a number of recommendations as well as the result of the building condition assessment of the facility.
“The Blackstock Recreation Complex has two major components, the Community Centre and the Arena. The Community Centre is in overall good condition and had a major renovation in 2014. Over the next five years it is anticipated that approximately $444,500 in repairs and replacements are needed to maintain the facility in good condition and continued use for the community,” the report stated. “The Arena, however, needs a more substantial investment of approximately $3,035,000 in repairs and replacements to maintain the use of the facility. And even with this investment the arena would remain an undersized, aged facility with unknown future repair costs after the five-year period. Given the limited funding available in the Township, it is recommended major investments not be made for the arena and instead plans continue to replace the arena with a new, fully accessible facility. A new arena will only be possible with a successful grant from another level of government.”
The recommended work plan for the Community Centre portion saw a total of $346,000 in "now" needs, $44,000 in work needed over the next two years and $54,500 in costs needed over the next three to five years. The arena portion has a total of $533,500 in "now" needs, about $2.3 million in needs over the next two years and $154,500 in projects needed over the three to five year time period.
While the Township has made three different grant applications for funding to help replace the arena, none have been successful.
“The arena itself needs some major work. It needs a roof replacement. The refrigeration equipment should all be replaced, and the floor and piping should also be replaced,” Carol Coleman, Scugog’s Director of Public Works and Infrastructure, said.
Ward 4 Councillor Harold Wright described the findings in the report as a “shock and awe type of assessment.”
Ward 2 Councillor Janna Guido questioned if it would be better to add to the Scugog Community Recreation Centre in Port Perry rather than looking at a rebuild project in Blackstock.
Director Coleman responded, pointing out the Township’s last Recreation and Culture master plan recommended having a new facility in Blackstock.
With the approved recommendations of the report, the "now" needs will be discussed and reviewed during the 2024 capital budget discussions, and the one-to-two-year and three-to-five-year time frame needs will be considered in the Township’s capital forecast. However, in regards to the arena portion, the motion stated “only measures which relate to safety and low-cost items that may prolong the life of the arena for a few years be considered.” The final approved recommendations called for the Township to “continue to pursue grant funding to replace the arena in Blackstock from other levels of government,” and to “investigate lower cost options to replace the arena.”