The town’s Multi-Use Community Centre Project Steering Committee met last week to discuss where the project stands. The meeting detailed the status of the community fundraising and what the arena will be named.

Director of Recreation for Town of Bracebridge Cindy O’Regan serves as the project lead and says they will be selling naming rights to the centre itself and the other components inside it like the arena. “Will we carry on with the name memorial, or will we call it the ‘ABC’ arena,” she says.

Mayor Graydon Smith told the newsroom earlier this month that they will be moving forward with the arena and community centre, but will not be building the new library or fieldhouse because of a lack of funding. “We’re still looking for opportunities to get those projects done,” Smith said at the time.

He estimated that – as it currently stands – the project will cost $30 million. He explained they will use the money they’ve been putting aside for the past decade in lieu of federal or provincial funding. “As part of conservative fiscal management on this project we’ve been putting money away for about 10 years in a major capital reserve,” he explained. Smith said.

“That will allow us to access quite a bit of money and people won’t see their taxes go up,” he added. “Essentially taxpayers have been pre-paying us for the project.”

Bracebridge’s Manager of Recreation Services Trish Conley-Knight says to help fund the project a Community Fundraising Committee is being created. “It’s local,” she explains. “It’s not going after businesses in the GTA or outside of the area. It’s to engage local businesses.” 

“They already know about the facility,” Conley-Knight says of the Multi-Use Complex. “(Businesses) have been saving through events and they’ve got plans to contribute.”

She says they are working to assemble members for the committee now. Conley-Knight did not provide a date for when that will be done and the committee will meet for the first time, but says they’re “close.”

The pre-qualification of general contractors finished in December, O’Regan explains. Four were chosen and she said they anticipate a tender will be awarded in June. O’Regan says construction is on schedule to start in July 2021 with work finishing by March 2023.

The next steering committee meeting is on February 12th.