Wasaga Beach, developer and school district explore partnership to build recreational facility

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By Robin MacLennan

Ontario Construction News staff writer

Wasaga Beach officials are exploring a potential partnership with a developer and the Simcoe County District School Board to build a recreational facility.

At its Nov.19 meeting, council’s committee of the whole recommended municipal staff formalize the details of a partnership with the municipality, school board and Pacific Homes.

“The opportunity to work with a willing developer and school board in the development of a community centre is a fantastic opportunity,” Chris Roos, recreation, events and facilities director, wrote in a report.

“The Sunnidale Trails subdivision will eventually be home to approximately 7,000 people and with proper planning and sustainable partnerships, the town has a great opportunity to build a multi-purpose community centre.”

Roos said that building a full size gymnasium and a community use room in a new elementary school in addition to a well-equipped park with a covered rink/summer pavilion, sports fields and playgrounds immediately adjacent to the school is financially achievable through a partnership.

The Sunnidale Trails Subdivision located just off Sunnidale Road, west of the existing Wasaga Sands subdivision is draft approved for approximately 2,750 units once the entire build out of the subdivision is complete.  Roughly, a quarter of those units are on lands held by Pacific Homes, including 444 singles and semis, 100 towns and 60 apartments.

Pacific Homes commenced site works this fall.

Next spring and into the summer, they will begin servicing the site, commencing with the installation of services from Knox Road southward to the subject lands, following with the servicing of the first phase of their subdivision.

Pacific Homes plans to be building homes in the fall of 2020 with occupancies just before Christmas or early 2021.

In 2016, Pacific Homes presented a plan to build a multi-purpose facility as part of a community park within its 600 residential unit development that forms part of the Sunnidale Trails subdivision.

Pacific would also donate of $500,000 in cash and front-end the construction costs of a covered ice surface in the park that would be adjacent to an elementary school site.

Staff have been negotiating various recreation features:

  • double gym with enhanced change rooms (town’s portion)
  • multipurpose room with kitchenette and storage
  • furniture, fixtures and equipment
  • 90 parking slots shared with school sports field
  • playground, splashpad and Courts
  • covered refrigerated ice surface with change rooms and washrooms

School board officials have targeted the 2022-23 school year to open a new school. In 2018, the board invited interested parties to submit expressions of interest related to potential partnerships for a new elementary school in Wasaga Beach.

In his report, Roos said municipal staff investigated “a variety of recreation features” that would be built into the facility, including a double gym, multi-purpose room, a sports field, a splash pad and the ice surface.

Wasaga Beach Mayor Nina Bifolchi called the plan “a wonderful opportunity for the town to partner with the development community to provide amenities for residents.”

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