Regina City Council eyes trio of sports facilities for downtown – Regina
Regina City Council passed an amendment Wednesday to form a committee to oversee the development of three different sports facilities.
The new committee will examine the possibility of replacing and reusing the Brandt Center, a new aquatic facility to replace the Lawson Aquatic Center and a new high performance baseball facility.
The committee will be co-chaired by Regina Exhibition Association (REAL) President and CEO Tim Reid and City Councilor Bob Hawkins.
“I think this is a committee that will help focus on the synergies between all of these projects so that the group of projects, as they progress over the next 15 years, work together to strengthen our city’s economy, our city’s recreational prospects, and our city’s culture,” said Mayor Sandra Masters.
The trio of proposals, if ultimately approved, will shape the future of the city’s central downtown core.
“We looked at a number of recreational projects, ranging from a swimming pool to an arena to a soccer field. So what we’re talking about here is long-term planning that will transform and activate our downtown and that’s very exciting,” Masters said.
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The committee will prepare recommendations on the three projects and other civic infrastructure projects, and report later this year.
The Lawson Aquatic Center which was built in 1975 and opened in 1976. It will need a number of upgrades in order to prolong its life.
The report states that constructing a new facility would have a similar cost and therefore the report recommends the construction of a new facility in the future. With planning only in the initial stages, projected costs are estimated at around $173 million and construction is expected to begin in 2024.
REAL was asked to provide an update on the potential replacement for the Brandt Centre, home of the Regina Pats and a multi-purpose arena for events like the Canadian Western Agribition.
Five different sites were potentially assessed by REAL and three were ultimately shortlisted, all located in downtown Regina.
Building a new facility would not mean closing the Brandt Center. REAL suggests that it be redeveloped with the new construction.
The final talking point that could reshape downtown Regina is the potential multipurpose outdoor facility with synthetic turf to complement the need for a high performance baseball field.
Details are not yet available, but the council’s request on Wednesday is for $15,000 to fund a feasibility study on the project. The executive committee unanimously passed a motion to fund a feasibility study.
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