Harbour Grace wants regional sports complex
S.W. Moores Arena has served the area well, says mayor
The days of the S. W. Moores Memorial Stadium in Harbour Grace may be numbered. If dreams become reality, the facility will be vacated around 2015, to be replaced by a modern, state-of-the-art regional sportsplex. An official announcement is expected to be made next spring, according to Harbour Grace Mayor Don Coombs.
The present structure has served Harbour Grace and region well for more than 50 years, he said.
“ This region needs a new facility. Based on the age of the building, we realized that’s well over the life of a stadium. With the amount of money we put into it, we thought it would be a good opportunity for the town to apply for funding for a sportsplex,” Coombs explained last week.
The application process was initiated about six months ago.
“ We met with some consultants who would be looking after it,” Coombs stated. “ We’re hoping to hear within the next six or seven months what’s available and what’s not.”
The mayor stressed the regional nature of the proposed facility.
“Even though it will be in the jurisdiction of the Town of Harbour Grace, it will still serve the region,” he said. “ This will be a selling job for the town. We look at it as a regional facility the same way Carbonear looks at its swimming pool. We’re sure the region will come out and support it.”
Coombs added, “At the end of the day, accountability will fall on Harbour Grace, as it has in the past 50plus years of providing regional recreation.”
The proposed new facility will include such amenities as a bowling alley, curling club and walking track. But there’s an added attraction.
“ There’s been some talk that we’d like to see our council chambers move up to the new building. We’re trying to make our proposal diversified,” Coombs commented.
While specific plans are a closelyguarded secret, Coombs did reveal that two sites have already been identified.
“Both are in close proximity to the Veterans Memorial Highway, to make the facility accessible,” he said.
The final decision will be based on financial considerations.
“It must be affordable for the Town of Harbour Grace and for the taxpayers,” Coombs explained.
Based on the construction of similar facilities in the province in recent years, the proposed building will cost between $12 and $14 million.
“ The cost-sharing we have with the province is 80-20. But we’re hoping to do a bit better than that. Hopefully, the federal government will come out with a new fund for recreation. Without the three partners on this venture — municipal, provincial and federal — it wouldn’t be a feasible project.”
Coombs has already contacted people to serve on a committee to oversee the project.
“Members won’t just come from Harbour Grace. They’ll come from different areas of the region. It’s imperative that we get input from the sport and recreation community, plus business and other things, and from different backgrounds.”
The S.W. Moores Memorial Arena in Harbour Grace may soon be replaced by new, state-of-the-art regional sports complex.