The contract awarded to build the new Wellesley Township Recreation Centre, the committee charged with raising the community’s portion of the $27-million price tag has now launched its campaign.
“There are two campaign goals. The first is to raise $2.5 million to offset the township’s costs. The second is to foster community ownership in the project. We’re confident we’ll meet both goals, and maybe even exceed them,” said campaign chair Chris Martin.
The first phase of the fundraising drive will see the committee approaching potential larger donors such as township businesses before moving onto direct appeals to the general public in the summer.
With a slogan of “something for everyone,” the fundraising drive is accentuating the wide variety of facilities and programs that will be on offer at the new township centre.
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Along with an NHL-sized rink, the 62,000-square-foot facility at Queens Bush and Hutchison roads in Wellesley village will include eight dressing rooms (two fully accessible), a dressing room for the Applejacks Junior C hockey team, a youth centre, seniors’ centre, a gymnasium that could serve as a community centre, meeting rooms, fitness rooms, a walking track, a commercial kitchen, a multi-use court, a skate park, active outdoor play centre, two soccer fields and outdoor walking trails.
There’s room on the site for a future second ice pad and outdoor pool, as well.
The township is also in negotiations to include space for the community health centre at the location, with costs to be recovered from leasing the space.
“With so much to offer, the new recreation centre will impact the lives of the residents of our township for years to come,” said Martin. “This will be a first-class community facility that will enhance the quality of life for everyone.”
Throughout the process, Martin has spoken with numerous people about what the facility would offer. Now, with construction on the horizon, he’s talking with many more about the benefits it will provide.
“It’s just so much more than an arena. The community hall, gym, walking track, spaces for youth and seniors. The health centre, meeting rooms, fitness centre. The skateboard park and soccer fields – whenever I go over what’s in a project with someone who’s not necessarily familiar with it, the remark I often get is ‘I had no idea.’ When they do learn about that, invariably, there is something in there for them. That’s where our campaign slogan came from, something for everyone,” said Martin.
The committee chair has also been busy visiting other multi-use facilities in other municipalities, learning what works, and what doesn’t, ahead of finalizing the construction details for the Wellesley Township building.
“The advantage of being one of the last to build one of these complexes is you get to see the good and the misses of others. We’ve tried to incorporate all of that into our project.”
To find out more about the Wellesley Township Recreation Centre and the “Something for Everyone” capital campaign, see the group’s website at www.something4everyone.ca.