When the Woolwich Memorial Centre opens later this year, the township will be on familiar ground with the bulk of the offerings, including arenas and pools, but is entering unchartered territory with the planned fitness centre.
With that in mind, Woolwich will be circulating a request for proposals (RFP) to operate this new facet of the multi-use recreation facility now under construction in Elmira. Terms of the RFP were approved at council Tuesday night.
The fitness centre will occupy about 1,100 square feet on the second floor of the 113,000-sq.-ft., $23 million facility. As well as a free-standing resource, it’s expected to be used in conjunction with the seniors’ and youth centres, as well as by the Elmira Sugar Kings hockey club.
When the WMC is completed, the fitness space will be nothing but painted walls and a cushioned floor, with the successful bidder for the operation expected to supply all the necessary equipment and furnishings.
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The detailed RFP presented by recreation and facilities director Larry Devitt raised some eyebrows in its scope, prompting him to note the township wants only qualified applicants taking part in the process.
“We want serious responses. We’re not taking this lightly,” he explained.
“It will weed out the non-serious,” agreed Coun. Mark Bauman.
While the township is looking for third-party operators to make bids, it has not ruled out running the centre as an in-house program, Devitt noted in response to a question from Coun. Ruby Weber.
Even if run by an outside company, the fitness centre would still operate crossover programs with the pool and other amenities at the WMC.
Interested parties will have until Apr. 17 to submit a proposal.