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Shovels finally in the ground for South End Community Centre

The cost of the project is $115.5 million with a completion date set for fall of 2026

Plans for the South End Community Centre have been pending since 2003 and today shovels are finally in the ground.

“This project has been one that we have been waiting for literally years,” said Colleen Clack-Bush, deputy CAO at the groundbreaking on Tuesday.

The cost of the project is $115.5 million with a completion date set for fall of 2026.

“I’m in the pool!” exclaimed Danna Evans, general manager of culture and recreation for the City of Guelph, while standing at the Poppy Drive location, adjacent to Bishop Macdonell Catholic High School.

A couple of weeks ago she was at the spot where the pool will be when the South End Community Centre is built. On Tuesday Evans pointed out the entrance behind her, the ice pad to her left and the walking track above her. Paddle boards, life jackets, hockey nets were laid out on the field to represent the different areas.

“And so it truly is coming soon. And Ken and I could not be more excited. And we know that's shared by all the members of council as well,” sand Ward 6 councillor Dominique O’Rourke.

As the south end of the city is one of the newest parts of Guelph it sometimes feels like it isn’t integrated as much as the downtown is with the rich social fabric it has, said Ward 6 councillor Ken Yee Chew.

“And one of the ways in which we can tangibly invest in our communities is by building a facility that people can start to call home and build on connections with folks across the street,” he said.

“It's not just for the south end. This is for the entire city,” said Scott Stewart, CAO for the City of Guelph.

“You know there is a lot of work that goes into this. I remember when I was running and saying, you know we got to get this done. And in your mind you think … like next week let's put a shovel in the ground. What’s taking so long? But it takes a while because one, you have to do engagement,” said Mayor Cam Guthrie.

“And we heard from the community very clearly about the different types of things that they wanted to have embedded in this facility that was really important,” he said.

The 165,000-square-foot facility will house a pool, gyms, ice pads, walking track and meeting rooms.

“So this new centre will cater to everyone, no matter your age, or abilities and will offer such a wide range of programs and services,” said Stewart.

The community centre is set to incorporate renewable energy generation technology for a 60 per cent in energy savings and prevent 85 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions, said O’Rourke.


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Santana Bellantoni

About the Author: Santana Bellantoni

Santana Bellantoni was born and raised in Canada’s capital, Ottawa. As a general assignment reporter for Guelph Today she is looking to discover the communities, citizens and quirks that make Guelph a vibrant city.
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