Bracebridge councillor Steve Clement says it’s “awful” that the proposed $47.5 million Bracebridge Arena/Library/Field House will only have a life expectancy of 40-50 years.
On Monday, Council looked at a new report that laid out details about the proposal, when the subject of its longevity was raised.
“What’s the expected useful life time-frame of these facilities, how far are we spreading this potential $50 million cost in terms of annual life?” Mayor Graydon Smith asked MJMA Architects Ted Watson who was present at the meeting.
“The life expectancy – the design target is 40-50 years lifespan for these buildings,” replied Watson. “What we see is usually after 40 years most facilities come under major requirements for refurbishment or upgrade.”
Watson stressed that council look to the project with an eye for quality, in order to mitigate potential required refurbishments in the future.
If approved, the new facility would be located off Salmon Avenue on lands located between Gagnon’s Your Independent Grocer and Monck Public School.
Concerns were raised at the meeting about whether the amount of parking put into the plan would be enough for at times very high usage at the complex and who the user groups would be at the Field House, but for Councillor Clement, the predicted lifespan was a sticking point.
“I’m very surprised that with the technology we have today, these buildings are only being looked into the future for 40 or 50 years, I think that’s – that’s awful,” he said. “I think they should be built with a quality nowadays that they certainly last a lot longer than that.”
Council is expected to seek more public input in the future before any decision is made to go ahead. The Town will also begin seeking out ways to fund the massive project.