Nearly three years after the collapse of the Queen’s Park Arenex, construction of its replacement has finally begun.
Construction of the 12,000-square-foot Queen’s Park Sportsplex is now underway on the old reservoir/tennis court site in Queen’s Park, next to the new skate park.The new multi-sport facility will house programs and services previously offered at the Queen’s Park Arenex before it collapsed in 2016.
“I am very pleased that this project is finally underway and that the programs displaced after the loss of the Arenex will soon have a permanent home in the new Sportsplex,” said Dean Gibson, the city’s director of parks and recreation. “I want to acknowledge the community’s patience during this time, and I want to also thank our community partners who have helped host our programs during this transition.”
The Sportsplex will provide program space for gymnastics, trampoline, ball hockey, badminton and volleyball, as well as the popular preschool playtime program, Motoring Munchkins.
The Arenex was destroyed in December 2016, when its roof collapsed after a heavy snowfall. Since then, programs offered at the Arenex have been offered in a variety of temporary locations.
According to a press release from the city, unique features of the Sportsplex include transparent hockey boards to enhance the playing experience for ball hockey and allow spectators of all ages to view sporting activities. The facility will also include universal washrooms.
While the city had originally proposed a structure that consisted of a fabric membrane over a rigid metal frame, it opted for a more permanent building that will be constructed of a pre-engineering frame clad with metal panels. The building will apply advanced green building principles and will be equipped with features such as high-performance passive heating and cooling units, and solar panels will be installed on the roof.
“Sustainability was a driving principle in the design of the Sportsplex supporting council’s commitment to reduce corporate and community greenhouse gas emissions,” Mayor Jonathan Cote said in a press release. “All of the green-building practices to be utilized in this new facility will ensure that we are being as energy efficient and environmentally sustainable as possible.”
Construction of the new Queen’s Park Sportsplex is scheduled to be completed for late spring 2020. The $6-million project will be funded primarily from the proceeds of insurance from the loss of the Arenex, as well as from grant funding.