Brockton to move forward with conceptual designs for new arena

·2 min read

BROCKTON – Council is divided on next steps on what to do about its aging arena.

A report on next steps for planning the future of the Walkerton arena and community centre, presented at the July 12 meeting, recommended council authorize staff to “seek the services and cost of an engineer and consulting team,” to prepare conceptual designs for a proposed new arena.

Coun. James Lang is very much in favour of a new twin-ice-pad arena.

“Not having ice available for practice is showing we need two pads to serve the minor hockey program … the girls program has really taken off,” he said.

Coun. Kym Hutcheon said she supports a new arena “wholeheartedly. We need to be ready for growth of this community.”

Mark Coleman, director of community services, told council that having conceptual drawings would put the municipality in a better position to apply for grants, as well as fundraise.

“This is the next logical step,” he said.

Hutcheon raised the possibility of adding a swimming pool to the plan, but Coleman said, “It doubles the cost and serves less users … very expensive.”

Lang suggested that for now, the design should be for a double pad arena, excluding a pool and municipal office.

Coun. Steve Adams, who described himself as “a hockey guy,” took issue with the report’s description of the current arena as being on “borrowed time. It’s in good condition.” He agreed there’ll be a need for a new arena in the future, but it has to be at the “right time, … in the right place.” And in his opinion, East Ridge Business Park is not the right place.

Adams further said that with the amount of money needed for a new arena, “this needs to go to the public.”

Mayor Chris Peabody said, “We need to put measures in place to get some funding. … We don’t want to end up like Chatsworth – they’ve been without an arena for five years.”

The motion to go ahead with the staff recommendation carried.

Pauline Kerr, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Walkerton Herald Times

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