The city of Halifax is sharing it’s plans for the make over of the Dartmouth Sportsplex.
The 34-year-old recreation facility is getting a new double gymnasium, front entrance and lobby, community spaces, refurbished racquetball courts, new fitness/cardio rooms and improvements to the swimming pool and slides.
The $23-million project will also include improvements to make the Sportsplex more accessible, including wheelchair access to the training pool, and wider and more accessible doorways and entrances.
“Our goal throughout the entire planning process was to ensure the Dartmouth Sportsplex meets the needs of residents for the next 30 years,” said Max Chauvin, General Manager of the Dartmouth Sportsplex.
The entire facility, except for the arena, will be closed for the duration of the 16-month construction project, scheduled to start in spring 2017.
The arena will stay open during construction because it has separate entrances, washrooms and air handling systems. It will not be able to handle large events during construction, as there are not enough washrooms or exits to meet fire code requirements.
The Dartmouth Sportsplex and the city looked at doing the project in phases, but decided that opening small portions of the facility before the renovation work was completed would pose a safety hazard.
Other local recreation centres, including the Findlay Centre and Dartmouth North Community Centre, will offer extra fitness and recreation programs while the Dartmouth Sportsplex is closed.
The facility will spend the next year identifying alternative options for all Sportsplex users, including the Dartmouth Crusaders swim club.
The Dartmouth Sportsplex opened in May 1982, and was expanded in 1995 to include a fitness centre and meeting room. It’s seen a 30 per cent drop in membership over the last four years.