Last night a local group who want to see the Benson Centre in Cornwall expand made their case to city council. The price tag is pegged at $2-3 million dollars and the groups wants it to come from the Feds, the province and local fundraising. This way the cost to the taxpayer is $0, a number we can all digest. They also say that user fees for the new facilities can cover the operating costs on an annual basis. Right now, city admin is crunching those numbers and likely looking into where they could possibly apply for funding from the upper levels of government. Council will then get that more detailed report and decide whether or not to back the idea.
This should be a “no brainer”, unless the numbers come back a disaster. Anytime there is an affordable option to increase the number of places to engage in physical activity it needs to be encouraged. In this case they are proposing a gymnasium, soccer field(s) and possible areas for squash, badminton and pickle ball.
Just the gymnasium alone could be home to rec basketball leagues as well as floor hockey and other indoor activities like volleyball and even dodge ball. Part of the registration fees could help cover the operating costs and be rolled into the sign up fee. Same goes for those playing in the recreation facilities that end up making the cut whether it be squash, badminton, soccer and/or pickle ball.
Another avenue that could generate revenue are tournaments for each respective sport housed there, which the group presenting to council highlighted as a definite thought behind creating such a facility.
We’ve seen the community step up for other recreational facilities like the Aquatic Centre, the Cornwall Curling Club and the Benson Centre. There appears to be not only a want but a need in the area for places to play and practice these sports. This new proposed project would likely see the same amount of support to help enhance the quality of life for not just Cornwall but SD&G as well.
Something else to consider is how much more difficult it is to secure a school gym to house those activities since the insurance costs are high and someone from the school typically needs to be present. This new facility removes that barrier and many other rec leagues might pop up and take advantage.
I fully endorse the idea and will definitely be there with a donation if the project goes ahead. I did it for the Benson Centre(you can read the wall if you don’t believe me). I know either me or my children will use it so it’s money well spent, you can even say invested.