Gymnasium at the SARC ??

As chair of PRAC, I put forward the following motion at our recent committee meeting :
“That staff investigate the feasibility and costs for a gymnasium at the Stronach Aurora Recreation Complex (SARC) within the 2018 budget.”

As an advisory committee can only make recommendations, this motion needed to be passed by Council – and I am pleased to say that it did!! I believe that our Town is in much need of Gymnasiums… In fact our Parks and Rec master plan has identified that the Town is in a deficit of 3 gyms… so I believe that we need to be proactive and build gymnasiums now!! There is that word… proactive – many use it, but I am not convinced they know what it really means.. Too many times there has been an old way of thinking, of putting things off because there is a belief – real or imagined – that there is no immediate need..Which is unfortunate as elected officials should plan for both current and future needs of our residents. This lack of planning is why we have infrastructure issues or traffic issues… because too many decisions are made for the here and now to “save” a small amount of money instead of making the right decision to move forward proactively….

With a population of 60,000 we are in an identified deficit for gymnasia… If we wait longer and then build … will 3 even be enough when this Town has 90,000 residents?? What’s interesting is that when the SARC was being developed and voted on back in 2004 the original plans had included a gymnasium on the south west corner of the building.. The costs were under 2 million to add the gym. It is unfortunate then that the need was taken out of the plans for the SARC… most likely as a cost savings. They might have saved costs at the time but those costs are now double – 4 million dollars to build the same gym that was planned 14 years ago.

Gymnasia are in high demand as we need space for volleyball, basketball, badminton and lots of other court sports – and we need space to be able to hold tournaments… and for somewhere that many can use it for dry land training… As of now, the hallways in the SARC are used for dry land training!!
I believe this is an easy addition to the SARC and is something we could get done in the short term… while we continue to look at a facility for the long term.. With a proper gymnasium this Town would be able to not only provide our residents with the necessary space, but the Town would be able to host sporting events that otherwise have been going to other communities..

As Council passed the motion, I am looking forward to staff bringing back a report that will identify how Council can move forward with the development of 1 or 2 gymnasiums at the SARC within the 2018 capital budget and possibly get this done this year!! #gettingthingsdone

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