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Rainbow board says it's now fully funding new sports dome after Belli foundation donation 'not realized'

Sports dome at Lasalle S.S. reopens to students this fall, community use remains on hold due to COVID-19
Smiles were abound back in February 2020 as the first official soccer game at the Fabio Belli Sports Centre kicked off. (Matt Durnan/

Officially opened in partnership with the Fabio Belli Foundation this past February after numerous false starts, a new sports dome at Lasalle Secondary School is now being fully funded and operated by Rainbow District School Board.

The donation pledged by the Fabio Belli Foundation was not realized, the board said in a news release issued Friday. plans to reach out to the Belli foundation and the school board to find out what happened and the reasons behind this decision.

As a result, Rainbow District School Board said it will retain all revenue generated through rentals, which will cover the costs of maintaining the facility. The name of the dome will reflect its location and its ownership.

Rainbow District School Board welcomes the opportunity to continue to work with the Fabio Belli Foundation to ensure maximum community use of the dome for soccer and other activities, said the news release.

The board will also collaborate on the creation of a plaque to celebrate and commemorate the vision of the late Fabio Belli, which has now come to fruition.

The sports dome begins its first full season of operation this fall. 

While community use remains on hold due to COVID-19, the dome will reopen to students in Rainbow schools with enhanced health and safety protocols. 

The dome is the first of its kind in the community, promoting healthy, active living and overall well-being, said the press release from the school board.

Located at Lasalle Secondary School in New Sudbury, the dome will be a key component of the school’s curricular programs and extra-curricular activities. 

Extensive renovations have taken place at Lasalle, which will become a Grade 7 to 12 school when classes resume in September. Construction is also underway on a new French Immersion JK to Grade 6 school, which is scheduled to open on site in 2022.

When the elementary school completes the campus model, the dome will provide much-needed physical education space for the growing student population at Lasalle Secondary School. Students will participate in traditional summer sports, like soccer and lacrosse, throughout the school year. 

The dome will also provide a facility for dry land training and sports administration experience as students engage in play and leadership activities, and prepare for careers in related fields.