January 10, 2014 7:40 am

Mayor Rob Ford supports building sports dome at Central Tech


WATCH: A community meeting was held at Central Tech on Jan. 9, 2014 to debate the merits of building a new privately funded sports dome. Peter Kim reports.

TORONTO – Toronto Mayor Rob Ford supports building a $6 million sports dome at Central Tech, the cost of which will be paid for entirely by a private company.

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“I support this 100 per cent. It’s going to benefit the community,” said Ford at a community meeting Thursday night. “It’s going to benefit the school that I’ve personally played on.”

Some residents complain the new sports facility will add to the traffic congestion in the area and oppose its construction.

The dome would cover the field of Central Tech from November to April and allow students to use the field in the winter.

During off-school hours, the facility would charge a fee for sports clubs and individual activities.

Downtown Toronto councillor Adam Vaughan is against the proposal to transfer the public land to the private-sector.

“If it becomes a private sector operated sports facility, that green space will be lost to the community. And it will have a huge impact on the beauty of the school. It’s a heritage building,” Vaughan said on Thursday.

The dome, managed by Razor Management, would include a new turf, track and change rooms.

“What are you going to do? Say no to everything? Say no to development? Say no to everyone coming into the city?” questioned Mayor Ford.

Central Tech is run by the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) and would not have to pay a penny to operate the new proposed facility.

“We at the TDSB would never be able to afford a field like this,” said TDSB spokesperson Shari Schwartz-Maltz.

This latest proposal is part of the Championship Field Program which hopes to revitalize six TDSB sites in Toronto – all involving public-private partnerships.

Monarch Park Collegiate already has a similar facility in place since 2012.

-with a file from James Armstrong and Peter Kim

© 2014 Shaw Media

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