The Dartmouth Sportsplex and the Halifax Regional Municipality unveiled plans Thursday for the facility’s $23-million make-over.
The long-awaited revitalization of the 34-year-old recreation facility will begin in spring 2017, and will embrace the changing recreational needs of the community. It will include a new double gymnasium, new front entrance and lobby, new community spaces, refurbished racquetball courts, new fitness/cardio rooms, and extensive improvements to the always-popular swimming pool and slides.
“Our goal throughout the entire planning process was to ensure the Dartmouth Sportsplex meets the needs of residents for the next 30 years,” said General Manager Max Chauvin. “The community has clearly told us they want new features, programs, and services.”
Chauvin highlighted the new gymnasium, which will provide children, youth, adults and families an opportunity to take part in sports and free-play opportunities that never previously existed at the Dartmouth Sportsplex.
“It is equally important for the facility and services to be accessible and inclusive. People want this to be their Sportsplex,” Chauvin said.
Some of the accessibility features will include:
- wheelchair access to the training pool
- specialized fitness programs for people recovering or dealing with critical health challenges
- new fitness options for those in wheelchairs and facing other physical mobility challenges
- new wider and more accessible doorways and entrances
- opportunities for more passive recreation such as social clubs
The new Dartmouth Sportsplex also promises to provide affordable options for everyone. “Our focus will be on inclusion, and that means offering low-cost or no-cost recreation options that appeal to one and all,” said Chauvin.
In order to accommodate the extensive renovations, the facility will shut down – except for the arena – for approximately 16 months, beginning next spring.
The revitalization project requires the entire centre and south ends of the building to be gutted on both levels, making a longterm closure unavoidable.
The Dartmouth Sportsplex and the Halifax Regional Municipality examined the feasibility of doing the project in phases, but ultimately it was determined any attempts to re-open small sections of the building before completion of the renovation work would create significant safety concerns and dramatically increase both cost and time to complete the work.
Local recreation centres such as the Findlay Centre and Dartmouth North Community Centre will offer extra fitness and recreation programs throughout the service interruption.
In addition, Dartmouth Sportsplex staff will take the next year to identify alternative recreation options for all users of the facility, including the Dartmouth Crusaders swim club.
The arena will stay open during construction because it has separate entrances, washrooms, and air handling systems. However, the arena will not be able to accommodate large events in the arena until the revitalization is complete because there are not enough washrooms or exits to meet fire code requirements for hosting a large number of people in that space.
The Dartmouth Sportsplex will continue to offer all its recreation services and programming until construction begins in spring 2017.
Source: Media Release