The shovels were officially put into the ground today behind Canadore College's Commerce Court Campus for the announcement of a new $8.5-million indoor sports facility.
The announcement for the 85,000-square-foot dome will benefit the school and multiple community user groups. It will provide indoor surfaces for soccer, football, cricket, baseball, and golf along with hard court surfaces which will support tennis, basketball, along with dryland training and sports conditioning options.
"It is a proud day for us, it is part of our growth plan to create advantages for our programs, school sport and recreation but also allows us to expand our campus health and wellness programming and support the user groups in the city that require turf playing fields as well as hard court surfaces," said Canadore College President George Burton.
"It is a good fit and I am really excited about it."
The new Canadore multi-use recreational facility comes at no cost to the taxpayer either.
"Thanks to our efforts, we have been able to put money aside for years because we had a process to go through with tendering through these times to make sure it was going to be affordable and sustainable," said Burton.
"It came back meeting those two criteria so we could share with the user groups that yes it is going to be a reality."
Marc Mathon, the president of the North Bay Bulldogs football program, is thrilled to see this project move forward.
Mathon said they are the only team in their respective leagues that does not have an indoor dome facility to train in.
"This means everything to us," he said. "Actually now I think our dreams have come true to be able to put a lot more things together. I can imagine all the things we will be able to do now."
Dave Saad, longtime baseball coach and member of the Canadore Foundation Board said the facility gives North Bay the ability to address the geography problem for North Bay sports teams and athletes.
"Short seasons, no time for skill development, elite athletes that have to travel out of town in the off-season to hone their skills - get the proper coaching. We have all that here but the only thing missing was the facility and this addresses that facility."
The new facility is expected to be complete and open by September 2023.
The project has been in the works for close to a decade. Back in 2015, the focus was on the possibility of having an indoor twin pad arena constructed where the new dome will be built.
A Canadore news release said the complex will include 6,200-square-feet of attached clubhouse space with change rooms, reception and dedicated instructional and meeting room space. It's versatility, as the city's largest indoor space, the college said, can provide additional opportunities in attracting sports and other tourism-related events to North Bay.