New sta­dium to begin con­struc­tion

Pre­mier signs con­tract to start new recre­ation fa­cil­ity in Har­bour Grace

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY MELISSA JENK­INS

With the pa­per­work signed, sealed and de­liv­ered, it’s of­fi­cial; the Town of Har­bour Grace is get­ting a new recre­ation fa­cil­ity.

Dur­ing an an­nounce­ment at the S.W. Moores Me­mo­rial Sta­dium Wed­nes­day, May 27, New­found­land and Labrador Pre­mier Paul Davis told the crowd of sev­eral hun­dred, which in­cluded most of the stu­dents from nearby St. Fran­cis School, that this has been a long time com­ing.

“Our gov­ern­ment made a com­mit­ment to the peo­ple of Har­bour Grace and to­day we are de­liv­er­ing upon that com­mit­ment,” he said to the group.

More than a sta­dium

Davis said it was more than a prom­ise to him.

He ex­plained he has been a fre­quenter to Har­bour Grace for the past 30 years, since his wife is from neigh­bour­ing Up­per Is­land Cove. He also noted his nephew and for­mer pro Robert Slaney, who was also in at­ten­dance, was a long­time CeeBees mi­nor hockey player.

For Davis, this an­nounce­ment was about the le­gacy of hav­ing a sta­dium in Har­bour Grace and the sports pro­grams that have been suc­cess­ful in the town over the decades.

In fact, to start off the event, Davis be­gan a chant of “Go CeeBees Go.” The event also ended the same way.

Ev­ery­one in at­ten­dance seemed to agree the new fa­cil­ity was about com­mu­nity. With only 24 hours no­tice, St. Fran­cis was able to get buses for the stu­dents to go to the sta­dium and some high pro­file lo­cals, in­clud­ing long-time town vol­un­teer and for­mer coun­cil­lor Bud Chafe, MHAs, cur­rent town

coun­cil­lors and staff, as well as CeeBees mi­nor hockey play­ers and CBN fig­ure skaters, were able to at­tend the an­nounce­ment.

Many play­ers and skaters wore their CeeBees jer­seys and fig­ure skat­ing jack­ets to show sup­port for the fu­ture home of their teams.

Make it of­fi­cial

Join­ing Davis at the head ta­ble for the an­nounce­ment was Har­bour Grace Mayor Terry Barnes, a rep­re­sen­ta­tive for Pomer­leau Inc., — the con­struc­tion com­pany build­ing the new fa­cil­ity — and Deputy Mayor and sta­dium li­ai­son So­nia Wil­liams.

Barnes was pleased to have the pa­per­work signed to begin the project, which he said was long over­due. He is ex­cited to see the town grow with a new fa­cil­ity.

“I’m very proud of our past but I’m ex­cited for our fu­ture,” Barnes noted.

With the crowd cheer­ing, the of­fi­cial pa­per­work was signed. Af­ter­wards, Davis and Barnes shook hands.

“She’s done,” Barnes said, as he threw his hands in the air.

The crowd erupted in cheers, with the kids all get­ting to their feet to cel­e­brate.

The recre­ation com­plex

The new recre­ation fa­cil­ity, which will be lo­cated on Jamie’s Way next to Vet­er­ans Me­mo­rial High­way, will begin con­struc­tion very soon.

With a price tag of $21.5 mil­lion, the prov­ince will be in­vest­ing over $15 mil­lion in the project.

Town of­fi­cials have al­ready ap­proved the pur­chase of the land for some $240,000, which in­cludes fees to trans­fer own­er­ship and legal costs, at a 80/20 split with the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment.

The fa­cil­ity is ex­pected to have one NHL-sized ice sur­face, a multi-pur­pose room, a fit­ness cen­tre and an in­door walk­ing track, among other ameni­ties.

Res­i­dents have been wait­ing since 2011 for the fa­cil­ity to begin, since it was first an­nounced. Other fa­cil­i­ties that were an­nounced at the same time are al­ready un­der­way or com­pleted.

A dou­ble-ice sur­face arena in Par­adise was opened in Novem­ber 2014, and cost some $22 mil­lion.

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