KAWARTHA LAKES-City of Kawartha Lakes council is recommending the Ops Arena and Community Centre be repurposed and refurbished rather than closed entirely.
At the November 12, 2020 Council meeting, Council adopted a motion that the Ops Arena and Community Centre be closed and the $3.8 million in Special Debenture Funding to upgrade the facility not be utilized. This was because the grant that the project was contingent upon was not successful. A further motion was adopted to direct Staff not to reopen the Ops Arena Facility and report back to Council on options available for other uses of the property.
At the April 6 Committee of the Whole meeting, Staff brought a report outlining four options for the property. Situated just east of Lindsay on Highway 7, the property is 20 acres in size, traditionally operating as an arena, with an active community hall. It has a combination of green space with three ball diamonds and is home to the Ops Fire Station.
Committee of the Whole unanimously made the recommendation for Council to refurbish and repurpose the former arena facility for other community recreational uses. The recommendation will come to Regular Council for review and/or adoption on April 20.
The option chosen includes structural and facility renovations to offer indoor “dry floor” activities, and some modernization of the community hall and common public spaces. The “dry floor” space could remain a concrete floor, or could be upgraded with turf installation or other floor surfacing. Cost estimates for some of the known structural concerns are a minimum of $776,000 and there is currently no committed budgets for the work. Additional work pertaining to flooring and new use will be determined by a feasibility study. Staff will initiate this study and include outreach to user groups and the community. A report will come back to Council by end of September 2021. This will allow budget considerations in time for the 2022 budget.
“We can’t keep adding new facilities to our footprint. We know we have more ice surfaces than needed. Repurposing the Ops facility to fit the needs of our changing community is a good direction to take,” commented Mayor Letham.