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Public meeting will examine replacements for Peterborough Memorial Centre

Click to play video: 'Public consultation meeting Tuesday night will examine replacement options for PMC.'
Public consultation meeting Tuesday night will examine replacement options for PMC.
A public consultation meeting will be held Tuesday night to discuss replacement of the Peterborough Memorial Centre. – Apr 2, 2018

The public is being invited to discuss a major brand-new sport and entertainment facility which will replace the aging Peterborough Memorial Centre.

Consultant group Sierra Planning and Management, along with the DIALOG design team and city staff, are hosting the public information session on Tuesday, April 2, at 6:30 p.m. at the Evinrude Centre, to open a dialogue on the matter.

The group is encouraging those interested to come out and share their perspectives.

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Peterborough Petes’s president Dave Pogue hopes to see a good crowd on hand for the presentation.

“Come get educated on what this facility can do for the City of Peterborough,” said Pogue. “But, more importantly, have your say so you can get in what you’d want to see [become part of] this facility.”

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Jon Hack, a consultant with Sierra, is overseeing the arena feasibility study. In phase one of his report, he identified the Memorial Centre as being “functionally obsolete” and, moving forward to phase two, is looking to identify what a new multi-sports and events centre should look like, along with where it should go. The budget for the project is another consideration.

It appears that the downtown core is particularly highlighted as a possible location, and all major stakeholders and facility users — including the Petes and the Junior and Senior Lakers — support the idea of placing this state-of-the-art facility in a central area.

“You don’t want it to be an island, where people just drive to it, go to an event and then jump in their car and go home again,” said Junior Lakers president Tim Barrie. “You want to get something more out of the building, and to do that, you have to put it near other businesses.”

READ MORE: City enters next phase of replacement plan for Peterborough Memorial Centre

The Townsend Street Public Works yard is being eyed as the prime location. It’s the only location publicly identified by the city at this point, but other possible locations include Morrow Park, the Canadian Canoe Museum site on Monaghan Road, and Peterborough Square, all of which are being looked at.

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The Senior Lakers support the new development, but suggest the Memorial Centre could still suit their current and future needs.

“[The] possibility is still there to have that (Memorial Centre) as an independent rink for lacrosse or some indoor sports,” said Brian Cowie, Lakers communications director. “I think that option might still be there.”

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Early budget estimates suggest a new entertainment facility for Peterborough would cost anywhere from $80 to $100 million, and at Tuesday’s consultation meeting, the public will hear everything from location ideas to design specifics, but will also have a chance to give their own perspective.

There is a sense in the community, particularly from the major sports groups, that this arena project should have been built already. But this is a good start.

“From a monetary perspective I don’t think we can do this quick enough,” said Pogue.

The consultant suggests it would take at least five years to construct the facility, but in the meantime, the aging Memorial Centre still needs upgrades, like new boards and glass for the Petes next year.

There’s also a $4-million construction repair planned for the arena floor and ice making infrastructure that would leave the Senior Lakers without a home rink for the 2019 lacrosse season.

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