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Open houses Saturday for Valley East sports complex

Public can have their say about plan to build twin-pad arena in Hanmer
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Open houses for the proposed multipurpose recreation complex next to the Howard Armstrong Recreation Centre in Hanmer will be held Saturday, the city said in a news release. (File)

Residents in Valley East and Capreol will be able to give their opinions this weekend on a twin-pad arena proposed for Hanmer.

The city is considering building a $24 million multipurpose sports complex that would be built on municipal property next to the Howard Armstrong Recreation Centre. 

“The proposed sports complex could feature such up-to-date amenities as larger ice surfaces, additional dressing rooms, more comfortable seating, a running track, multipurpose rooms or an energy-efficient design,” said a news release this week.

While the project has support from city council, a decision to actually proceed with the complex has not been made. At this point, the city is consulting with residents to get their opinion. 

“Results from the community consultation will form future reports to council,” the release said. 

Open houses Saturday are scheduled in four locations, where the city is seeking public input on design and how the proposed facility could incorporate and enhance adjacent parkland. 

The proposed complex would likely replace two existing arenas in the community --  Centennial Arena in Hanmer and the Raymond Plourde Arena in Val Caron, both of which were both built in the early 1970s.  

The new rec centre would be built on eight acres of land the city owns near Howard Armstrong. 

The idea for a new twin-pad arena dates back to 2017, when Ward 6 Coun. Rene Lapierre and Ward 5 Coun. Bob Kirwan asked staff to study whether building a new two-pad arena would be cheaper in the long run compared to repairing the existing facilities, which will have to be replaced eventually. 

Many existing arenas in the city require millions in maintenance in the next decade because of their age. Staff prepared a business case to fund a $1.5 million detailed design study as part of the 2019 budget, but no money for the project has yet been approved.

The schedule for this weekend:

  • Capreol Community Centre and Arena: Attend anytime from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 
  • Centennial Community Centre and Arena: Attend anytime from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. 
  • Raymond Plourde Arena: Attend anytime from 1:30 to 4 p.m. 
  • Valley East Public Library and Citizen Service Centre: Attend anytime from 1:30 to 4 p.m. 

Anyone who can't make the open houses can fill out a survey online at overtoyou.greatersudbury.ca, or on paper at a Greater Sudbury Public Library/Citizen Service Centre. The survey opens on March 29 and continues until end of day on Tuesday, April 23. 

For more information, please visit overtoyou.greatersudbury.ca or contact valleyeastsportscomplex@greatersudbury.ca.