Council

Council pushes Dartmouth Sportsplex expansion plan forward

Mike Savage will write to the province for expansion permission

The Halifax Regional Municipality wants the province to approve a $25-million expansion for the Dartmouth Sportsplex that would include a gymnasium and splash pool.

On Tuesday, Halifax regional council unanimously voted for the mayor to write a letter to the minister of municipal affairs asking the government to move on the expansion. The province has to be asked because the building is located on common land.

Council unanimously supports the motion.   Yu Zhang

If approved, the expansion would mean 1,000 square metres of new space for the facility.

“Many community meeting rooms and facilities will be upgraded,” Max Chauvin, general manager of the Dartmouth Sportsplex, said in an interview. “People are most excited about the addition of a gymnasium. We are going to have two basketball courts. In that place, we can also play badminton, gymnastics, and volleyball.”

Renovations would include new features for the pool area.   Yu Zhang

The renovations would also include a splash pool for young children and a ramp to help people enter the training pool.

Coun. Sam Austin, who represents Dartmouth Centre, put forward the motion to council. He said plans for an expansion have been in the works for some time.

“You start off with an idea, then you need to do your public consultation and go through an accessible plan,” he said in an interview. “What they are doing now is the design of details. If the province gives the nod, we will come forward in the spring.”

Austin said the Sportsplex is very important to the people who live in his district.

“The Dartmouth Sportsplex is the centre of the community,” he said. “It’s an old building which was built in the 1970s and this project can not only refresh the building but also improve (what) it offers.”

If approved, renovations would start at the end of May and finish by September 2018.

As parts of the Sportsplex wouldn’t be used during renovations, council discussed what would happen to employees during this time. Layoff notices have been issued to 185 workers for the renovation period from May 29, 2017, until Aug. 31, 2018.

The arena section would remain open during this time.