Memorial Sports Centre receives $5 million boost

By Merna Emara
Staff Writer

The Memorial Sports Centre in Fort Frances is about to witness renovations and the addition of new facilities. This will be done using funding provided by the federal, provincial and municipal governments.

Yesterday, Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP Marcus Powlowski made the announcement along with Greg Rickford, Ontario’s Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, Ontario Minister of Indigenous Affairs and MPP Kenora—Rainy River, on behalf of Laurie Scott, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure and June Caul, Mayor of the Town of Fort Frances.

Caul said the arena is a very critical hub for the youth, all members who use the facility and all residents of Fort Frances and the Rainy River District.

“This funding will enable us to continue providing a healthy and active lifestyle in a safe, accessible, and improved environment,” Caul said. “In smaller rural communities like Fort Frances, our local arenas connect families, friends and the community to each other.”

This project is part of the Investing in Canada Plan’s stream of Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure. The Government of Canada is investing $1.9 million, the provincial government is providing $1.6 million and the Fort Frances municipality is putting in $1.5 million.

“The project will involve replacing the roof, installing a new sprinkler system and upgrading the air conditioning system power supply, ice plant controls and the dehumidifier,” Powlowski said. “Once completed, the newly renovated facility will feature an updated pool, new squash court floors, and new flooring in the auditorium entrance.”

The renovations will enhance the quality of user experience with the recreation facility, but also improve accessibility and the energy efficiency of the complex, Powlowski added.

Travis Rob, operations and facilities manager, said the pool at the sports centre is fairly aged out.

“We have a number of issues that we’re trying to, to address through this program, some structural some cosmetic, but we’ll be looking at, at providing just a general facelift to that whole pool facility with this project.”

Part of the new funding will also go towards purchasing a new zamboni for the arenas at the sports centre.

Caul said her five-year-old grandson will be especially excited about seeing the new zamboni since it is his main highlight when watching hockey game.