Recreation facility proponents search $7M from Saskatoon metropolis council

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The city council heard from seven groups suggesting new and expanded recreational and cultural facilities, including a request from the Children’s Discovery Museum for $ 2 million.

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The Council’s Governance and Priorities Committee held a special session on Wednesday to hear from groups looking to build or modernize new or existing facilities, with varying degrees of support from taxpayers.

The list of facilities was fascinating, including a $ 20 million stadium for a professional soccer team, indoor lacrosse facility, and a new track and field facility in the Gordie Howe Sports Complex.

Amanda McReynolds Doran, director of the children’s museum, said the facility would include a playground structure that is unique in Canada. She said the museum wants $ 2 million more from the city in three years.

“We were assured that you would not come back asking for more money,” said Coun. said Bev Dubois.

Doran said costs rose in part due to the delay in taking over the former Mendel Art Gallery building, which was postponed due to the Remai Modern art gallery’s missed completion deadline.

“Circumstances have changed and no one has been able to control them,” said Doran. The museum plans to raise $ 15 million to renovate the Mendel Building, which it will lease from the city.

The Friends of the Bowl Foundation outlined plans to upgrade facilities at the Gordie Howe Sports Complex, including a new track facility, as the track at Griffiths Stadium is due to close. The track would be built on the same site as the Clarence Downey Speed ​​Skating Oval.

Using innovative engineering techniques, the oval would be built on the track in such a way that the track would not be destroyed, the council heard.

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The foundation wants $ 5 million over seven years from the city. The council heard that the foundation received an anonymous donation of $ 15 million last week.

The group behind a $ 20 million soccer stadium is only looking for land out of the city to create an indoor lacrosse facility with three fields early on.

A permanent $ 3 million indoor facility at Shakespeare on the Saskatchewan site is not expected to require city funding, and the weir is not planned for a $ 5 million water park.

A report produced by a city-appointed consultant estimates the value of the city’s current recreational facilities at $ 264 million. The city spends about $ 3.2 million a year on recreational entertainment but should spend $ 6.7 million a year, the report said.

The total cost of building and renovating facilities to meet Saskatoon’s recreational needs over the next 11 years is estimated at $ 92.2 million.

Mike Roma, of consultant RC Strategies + PERC, welcomed the city’s approach to infrastructure funding, but said Saskatoon is lagging other Canadian cities when it comes to partnering with other communities in the recreational field.

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