Plans approved for new Simmons Sports Complex in Charlottetown

·2 min read
The entry and lobby will feature a glassed atrium to allow natural light. (City of Charlottetown - image credit)
The entry and lobby will feature a glassed atrium to allow natural light. (City of Charlottetown - image credit)

Final plans on the $25-million replacement for the aging Simmons Sports Centre have been approved by Charlottetown council.

Council voted Monday night to move forward with the design, which include an NHL-size ice surface, a walking track and a new outdoor pool with accessible washrooms.

The cost will be shared among the federal, provincial and municipal governments.

Shane Hennessey/CBC
Shane Hennessey/CBC

The preliminary design was presented to the public last July. At that time, the projected cost was $18 million. Coun. Terry Bernard, chair of the city's parks and recreation committee, said they made some tweaks to the design after hearing feedback from residents.

One of the changes included moving the walking track to the second floor, which freed up more space on the ground level for seating, storage and larger dressing rooms for teams and officials, Bernard said.

"I'm more than pleased."

City of Charlottetown
City of Charlottetown

The design allows for up 600 seats in the stands, and hundreds more in standing room along the walking track.

The plans also include a warming room, and a canteen and kitchen connected to the meeting room to allow for group functions. The entry and lobby will be in a glassed atrium to allow natural light. Teams and spectators using the surrounding sports fields will have access to exterior washrooms.

Bernard said the city will begin issuing tenders for the construction work. As long as there are no supply chain issues, he expects work to begin in the spring and finish sometime in the fall of 2022.

City of Charlottetown
City of Charlottetown

The existing arena will remain in use until the new one is completed. It will then be torn down and used for additional parking and green space.

The future of the 50-year-old sports complex, which is located adjacent to Queen Charlotte Intermediate School and Colonel Gray High School, was up in the air as recently as 2020. Community groups had lobbied for the city to build a new complex on the existing site, while the city explored developing a new ice surface at the University of Prince Edward Island.

When that was deemed unfeasible, it decided to build the new complex at the existing site.

City of Charlottetown
City of Charlottetown
Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting