New Artificial Turf

At this week’s General Committee meeting, Council discussed a report about the potential of a new turf field and clubhouse at Sheppard’s Bush. The recommendation put forth to the Committee was as follows:

  1. Direct staff to further investigate Option 2 for the development of a second artificial turf sports field at Sheppard’s Bush.
  2. Prepare a Capital Project for Council’s consideration in the 2024 Capital Budget.

Option 2 involves creating a second field at Sheppard’s Bush, located just north of the existing turf field, in a preferred north/south configuration. However, this option would require removing four existing 7v7  grass soccer fields. It also proposes building a clubhouse with change rooms and bathrooms either near the south parking lot off Industrial Parkway or at the north end of the complex next to a proposed new parking lot. Our staff, working with the sport organizations affected by this project have stated a preference for Option 2.   In addition, the Aurora Youth Soccer Club (AYSC), one of the organizations impacted, has expressed their support for Option 2.

When the Barbarians initially approached Town Council, they proposed contributing $1,750,000 towards this project. The report states that the Barbarians would fully cover the cost of the clubhouse, which amounts to $750,000, while the remaining $1 million would be allocated towards the turf field. The estimated cost of the turf field ranges from $2.5 million to $2.8 million.

With the support of the sport organizations impacted as well as with the financial support of the Barbarian’s, staff will now work on formalizing agreements with the Barbarians and the Ontario Heritage Trust. These agreements will be brought forward to the 2024 budget for Council’s consideration and approval. It’s remarkable to have one of our sports organizations provide such significant funding, creating a beneficial partnership that will not only benefit rugby in our town but also enhance sport and recreation facilities for all organizations. This will enable greater sports tourism and associated positive economic impacts as well as provide more opportunities for our residents to enjoy a variety of sport and recreation activities, thus benefiting the entire community and taxpayers.

Council has approved the recommendation in General Committee last night, which will be brought forward to be ratified by Council next week. I am excited to see this project move forward, and – if everything goes as planned –  we could potentially have a second turf field at Sheppard’s Bush and move closer to having our sixth turf field in Aurora and a new clubhouse that could be available for all users to enjoy by late fall 2024… Another investment in our community to provide the best possible services for the best possible price. This truly is an exciting time in Aurora…. #WorkingTogether #LeadershipThatGetsThingsDone

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