By Cecilia Nasmith
A red-letter day Thursday in Campbellford brought the announcement of two very large and very significant Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program projects for the Municipality of Trent Hills – replacement of the 60-year-old Hastings standpipe and the construction of a brand-new Campbellford Recreation and Wellness Centre to replace the old Campbellford Arena.
“Today’s announcement is all about working together. Today’s announcement is all about what happens when we invest in projects from the grass roots up,” Northumberland-Peterborough South MPP David Piccini said – singling out YMCA Northumberland and the municipality as key grass-roots partners.
The new sports and fitness facility has been 15 years in the making, the MPP said, recalling how he came on-board with these efforts soon after he was elected.
“Today, I am proud to announce the Government of Ontario is investing over $3.4-million in a brand-new community recreation-and-wellness centre and also $1-million in the water-main infrastructure that will provide clean, reliable water for Trent Hills’ growing needs.”
Cumulatively, he added, the Federal and provincial governments are investing more than $10-million in both projects, with about $8.5-million also to come from the municipality.
Piccini said the ICIP is an historic $10-billion Federal-provincial agreement that is making infrastructure investments as part of the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“So particularly now, this investment will ensure an active and vibrant community for years to come in Trent Hills,” he said.
“These are difficult times but, through working together at all levels of government, we are going to see this rec centre, this fitness-and-wellness centre, a state-of-the-art inclusive and welcoming centre.”
Its features will include a full-size laned pool, a therapy pool, a fitness room, a multi-purpose studio room and, of course, a new home for the Campbellford Rebels on an NHL-size ice surface.
Similarly, the opportunity to replace the aging Hastings standpipe with something modern and state-of-the-art increases its capacity to improve fire protection and serve a growing community’s water needs.
“I can’t wait, when we start to reopen this economy, when it’s safe to get together again with our friends and family, when it’s safe for the world, the province to travel, to welcome them here. And boy, what a community they are going to visit,” Piccini predicted.
Trent Hills Mayor Bob Crate referred to fundraising that has gone on for some time in anticipation of this day by both Campbellford Minor Hockey and the Campbellford-Seymour Community Foundation. The municipal contribution will also come from an annual amount set aside in the budget this year that, until now, has gone to complete the Hastings Field House – and will now go to the Campbellford Recreation and Wellness Centre.
Crate also thanked YMCA Northumberland, which will be the operating partner at the new facility, bringing new programming at a central venue to promote health and wellness for all.
YMCA Chief Executive Officer Eunice Kirkpatrick said they have been offering programming in Trent Hills for almost 20 years, but this is a new chapter.
“We are absolutely thrilled to be a partner with the new Campbellford Recreation and Fitness Centre,” Kirkpatrick said, foreseeing a variety of year-round accessible programs and services for all ages.
Trent Hills Chief Administrative Officer Lynn Phillips said it will be a 66,000-sq.-ft. facility centrally located off County Road 30 in the Campbellford Business Park for easy access to all members of the community.
Community Recreation Officer Peter Burnett has already been working on the initial design and required studies, Phillips added, so the project is ready to move forward to tender – and from there to the construction-contract phase.
“There will be visible site work perhaps as early as this fall, and construction is expected to take just over one year.”
General Manager of Infrastructure Renewal and Public Works Administration Scott White offered a few words about the standpipe project.
“The existing infrastructure is 60 years old. It has definitely run out its life expectancy – things just don’t meet provincial standards,” White said.
“This will be a great improvement for the community.”
From here, a class environmental assessment must be completed, followed by design work and construction to start perhaps next year, with a goal of completion in 2023.