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Task Force gets down to the details on new Beeton facility

June 14, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Kira Wronska Dorward

The Beeton Facility Planning Task Force met June 5 to discuss the public input received last month on the new build.

Deputy Mayor Norcross opened the meeting with how “important it is to get the components of this to the community as quickly as possible.”

Most task force members had just received the public input that day. No concerns were expressed over the May summary report and the meeting began in earnest.

First, a review of unfinished business began. The first item was the review of public feedback. There were hundreds of responses to the survey that included comments for the task force to digest.

It was thought that a much larger sample than normal had been taken, and that this would necessarily have to be taken into consideration during discussion.

A report on feedback was consulted. The Honeyfest Committee Chair worried the design for the town square (as a public meeting place) had been changed. The task force responded that this was just an initial draft, and they were open to discussion with the architect. The design was simply a reflection of “where we are at now.”

This raised concerns from some people and the matter was put aside to be dealt with at a later time directly with the architect.

Focusing on emails received, the task force then began deliberations on the size of the ice pad, the heritage district aesthetics, storage within the arena facility, and the size of a proposed gym (1,000 square feet).

One task force member commented, “I really think you need to focus on the size of the ice pad first, and then the gym, and then you’ll be able to be able to get rid of a lot of the things on that list.”

The Deputy Mayor responded, “Let’s get it done.”

The Tottenham arena measures 85 x 185 metres (which is slightly smaller than a standard NHL rink), while the Alliston Memorial arena is smaller at 80 x 180, and therefore used for sports like ball hockey, sledge hockey, and ringette.

Norcross commented that he liked the larger measurements because that would make the arena a complete duplicate of Tottenham in case that arena were to suddenly be out of commission.

Councillor MacLellan reminded the committee that population projections have grown. Councillor Lacey noted that there had already been a reduction in NHL arena floor size that had already gone through Council (17, 650 f sq.). There was some debate about a specific size having been passed through Council.

“This gives you 925 f sq. where you can utilize the space for other things,” Lacey argued.

In the end, a decision was made for recommendation to Council that the arena measure 85 x 185 metres, with five dressing rooms (two for referees and people of transgender), leaving ample space for storage besides.

A multi-purpose standard gym at 60 x 110 metres (including basketball court) was also decided on Lacey’s recommendation, with Councillor MacLellan adding, “I don’t think it makes sense to do anything bigger than Tottenham.”

This would mean a 600 square foot increase in size from the first draft.

A kitchen of 450 square feet was recommended and deemed to be “a very good size.” At any rate, that size had already been approved by Council.

The next topic for discussion was the Criteria for Federal Infrastructure Grant Proposal.

Councillor MacLellan said she felt the text of the grant proposal was not overly helpful, so she had reached out to the province.

She reported that Council would have to wait for the results of the upcoming Federal election to see who would receive grants, but it would be an idea to get projects “shovel ready.”

The task force was also concerned that accessibility should meet AODA (Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act) standards, and that they might explore the use of solar power.

As for potential partnerships in building the facility, it was decided that spaces should be kept open for flexibility.

Next on the agenda was discussion of the Priority Features and Program Space. Councillor Lacey’s proposal for a TRX station, as well as maximizing population and efficiency of space. A review of the Tottenham facility found that its space usage had been quite successful, which includes three multi-purpose rooms.

The Heritage Façade Study Policy of the building was also discussed. The Beeton façade is designed to look similar to the library’s. The task force recommended to Council that the facility follow the designs as outlined in the Beeton Façade Policy.

It is under discussion if the reception desk might be changed to a different concept, and that there must be some fitness solution. A high-priority fitness area with equipment was proposed, including a roadside courtyard in front of the building.

It was moved that consultants create a draft of the site plan in one month’s time to be endorsed by Council after two months, where after it would go on to the architects.

The task force will regroup in two months time, and see the recommendations proposed to Council at the June 24 Committee of the Whole Meeting, to be ratified by July 3.

It was also recommended consultants meet with the task force, with a tentative date proposed for the second week of August. A meeting date was agreed upon between August 26-30.

Lastly, discussion about the social media presence was addressed with a specific marketing plan around a beehive theme, including the following hashtags:

#welcometothehive

#letsswarm

The plan was well received by the task force, who emphasized that they are working on building a brand name and identity and that “people want to see activity.”

Councillor Lacey pronounced the media plan as “holistic” and one that “brings the community together.”



         


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