The Valley East Twin Pad Arena has not been approved, but early work in the area near the Howard Armstrong Recreation Centre had started as of last week.
The property was recommended as a site for a twin pad arena during a Sept. 16, 2019 community services committee meeting, and during the 2020 budget process, $227,000 in one-time capital funding was approved for the project in order to complete additional studies and reports.
Work crews were at the site last week, completing some of the above mentioned studies.
"A small machine is in the trails digging small bore holes for the geotechnical study, but we are definitely not clearing any trees as part of this work," said Sacha Novack, City of Greater Sudbury communications advisor.
Members of the Save Our Green Space Facebook group raised some concerns online over the city's survey work that was taking place in the area of Elmview Drive.
The group is opposed to the twin pad arena being developed on the site because it will take away eight of the 28 acres of green space that residents have enjoyed for years.
"I was expecting to see survey stakes there, because it looks like they're mapping out where to put the building," said Chris Bentley, member of Save Our Green Space.
"They've cleared out a couple of spots where they've knocked down some brush and small trees to drive a stake in, they took the Bobcat down the trail, so there's some tracks where it's been. It's a little disappointing, but I'm not sure there's anything that can or could be done."
While not opposed to a new arena in Valley East, the group has taken issue with the proposed location. Bentley ran for city council in Ward 6 in the 2018 municipal election with the hope of bringing the issue to the council table, but was unsuccessful in his bid for the seat that was won by the current councillor, René Lapierre.
Bentley and the group feel that the twin pad's construction is a foregone conclusion at this point, and the only thing that could prevent it from being built would be budget issues.
"From our standpoint, it's really on council," said Bentley. "The promise from city council is that the arena will take up eight acres and they'll revitalize the other 20 acres to make the trail system better, I'm guessing to make it smoother, whether they're looking at paving I'm not sure what their improvements include.
"Ultimately if the arena is going to be built there and there's no way to prevent it, I would like our group to be involved. The whole public should be involved with what they'd like to see, and make the best of a bad situation."
- The completion of the following reports related to the twin pad project are currently being worked on:
- Geotechnical & Soils Report to determine soil bearing capacity and water table height of proposed building locations
- Source Protection Plan Section 59 Application
- Stormwater Management Study and Report
- Wellhead Protection Area; By-law considerations, property/parking run off etc.
- Detailed Topographic Survey
- Traffic Study; flow to and from property and its effect on the existing Library, HARC, daycare and residential neighbourhood.
- Analysis of trail conditions and uses in green space to determine the amount of disturbance.
- Environmental considerations (carbon footprint, building efficiency, heating/cooling strategies)
- CPTED Design Analysis
- Fire Flow Capacities (Water Pressure Testing)
- Infrastructure and Servicing Upgrades Analysis (water, sanitary, gas, hydro, etc.)
- These studies will be presented to council once completed and council will decide on next steps.