Laurier Brantford has many high-end facilities on campus, but what the school lacks is a full-sized, dedicated athletic complex. The university currently does offer students the ability to work out and take part in basketball, dodge ball and volleyball intramurals at Wilkes House, but the quantity of these resources and size of the full facility is very inadequate, especially for a student body that is very physically active.
The university is widely aware of this, and Laurier Brantford is well on its way to getting the state-of-the-art athletic complex that its students deserve. In conjunction with the YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford, the proposed three-level complex will feature a 1,200 seat gym, aquatic centre with six-lane, Olympic-sized swimming pool, double gym – with space above for spectators – and full jogging track.
Located in the heart of downtown Brantford, this complex is going to be a community centre in every sense of the word, meeting the needs of everyone in Brantford. It stands to benefit and enrich the healthy lives of the Brantford residents, the Six Nations people and students, not only of Laurier’s campus, but also the students of Nipissing University and Mohawk College. Having the campuses integrated with the city, getting the YMCA and city of Brantford involved are key.
With the current YMCA location not having any aquatic facilities, membership has continued to decline. The complex hopes to fix this and get people in Brantford active again. Having both parties involved also helps distribute funding, making construction possible when it otherwise wouldn’t be.
However, the project has been hitting some snags financially, holding back the start of construction. The 130,000 square-foot complex is estimated to cost $58.4 million, but has so far yet to secure even half of the necessary funds.
”We have been fortunate, in that the province has earmarked a minimum of $16.7M toward the project, as have the municipal government ($5.8M). Should the federal government follow suit in the near future, I am confident the project will breathe new energy,” Greg Stewart, Manager of Athletics and Recreation at Laurier Brantford said.
Laurier Brantford has set a goal to have 4,500 students enrolled by the time the athletic complex is opened, and it will be integral to continue the growth of the university:
“We need to upgrade what we have, not only to support our athletes and general student body, but to showcase Brantford as a destination of choice. New facilities are becoming integral in the recruitment strategy,” Stewart said.
No facility will have more of an impact for the community of the university and the city more than the athletic complex in the short-term. You can look to get out to the gym and start hitting the weights, swimming or even just hang out with friends, in 2015 in the heart of Laurier Brantford’s campus on Colborne Street.