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Indoor athletic facility proposed
Indoor athletic facility proposed

Society makes pitch to Bridgewater for $1.7million field house

By KEITH CORCORAN

 BRIDGEWATER - A lease of Bridgewater land, a property-tax exemption and the expertise of town staff are on the wish list of a group working to build an indoor athletic complex.

 The South Shore Fieldhouse Society proposes to build a 26,000-square-foot indoor facility worth about $1.7 million. The society was expected to reveal their idea to a briefing session of town councillors on January 15.

 The society believes the steel-frame structure with a turf surface could accommodate field sports such as golf, baseball, track and field, football, rugby and lacrosse, but the main intention is to develop a place to play soccer indoors.

 "Over the past 10 years, Soccer Nova Scotia and supporting local regions and clubs have successfully planned and launched regional facilities in all six of the other seven regions in the province," reads a copy of the society's presentation.

 "To the best of our knowledge all of these have been successful and many additional facilities are now being planned. It is hoped and expected that our facility would be no different and that the South Shore would both sustain and benefit from the proposed facility."

 A growing demand and limited number of available facilities is behind the reason for seeking a location for indoor winter activities, the presentation reads.

 The presentation adds that school gymnasiums aren't a great option for serious play of field sports during the winter for reasons of limited space and obstacles such as room dividers and the unnatural surface.

 The presentation doesn't mention an exact location of preference, just a place somewhere within a five-kilometre radius of the centre of Bridgewater where the South Shore District Soccer Association's population base is geographically centered.

 The field house is considered a venture to complement, but not compete with, existing or future recreation facilities, the presentation reads.

 The society executive proposes to handle ownership and management of the field house themselves.

 They expect to fund the project with a mix of federal, provincial and municipal help along with Soccer Nova Scotia, the South Shore District Soccer Association and other corporate and sport partners. The society is seeking a one-time grant of $250,000 and/or a 10-year commitment of $25,000 a year from potential municipal partners.

 Bridgewater is being asked for a conditional letter of intention to be sent to the society by January 30.

 "In return we offer a willing partnership in the promotion and creation of a much-needed regional recreational field-house facility with a further commitment to provide public access to external comfort and also offer usage space to your recreational department," the report said.

  January 17, 2007 Next Article >
 
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