Green light for Tecumseh sportsplex despite significant cost increase
A signature initiative in the Town of Tecumseh that would expand its arena into a multi-use sportsplex has received unanimous support from council, despite an estimated cost more than double the original target.
On Monday night, council voted to move ahead with a $54 million sportsplex in Tecumseh — which would transform the town’s existing arena off of Lesperance Road.
The new facility would include indoor hardcourts, a FIFA-sized soccer field, a gymnasium and a cardiac wellness centre — to be named The Bob Probert Cardiac Centre — in addition to several other amenities.
A 2016 feasibility study approved by the town pointed to a $24 million estimate for the new facility.
Administration points to several reasons for the significant increase in costs: increased building material prices, American tariffs on steel, elevated local construction activity, the inclusion of the Hotel-Dieu Grace Healthcare rehab centre and the overall expanded scope of the project compared to the initial consultation.
In moving ahead with the project, council hopes to take advantage of government grants to offset the costs.
Mayor Gary McNamara believes the Investing in Canadian Infrastructure Program could cover as much as 73 per cent of the cost, leaving the town to pay $12 to $13 million.
“It will take some taxation but, it’s not something that will be outlandish by no means,” said McNamara. “We’re hoping, obviously, that our friends in Toronto and certainly in Ottawa are going to be kind to us. We’re going to work very hard to persuade them that this is a well-rounded, well-supported project.”
Representatives of local sports teams and leagues — from basketball to pickleball —packed council chambers in support of the upgrades to the arena.