Discussion about the proposed fieldhouse for the City of Weyburn was part of the agenda at Weyburn City Council Monday. The Director of Leisure Services, Matthew Warren, updated council on where the progress was on the project, along with the discussions being done with the South East Cornerstone Public School Division regarding the joint use of the proposed facility.
“Back on May 23rd, council passed a motion to provide the Weyburn Cornerstone School Division (sic) with a letter of intent to partner with their new elementary school being built on the old junior high land location,” Warren explained. He added the school board accepted the proposal, and discussions have been ongoing for the past five months.
Architects have been hired, one from Winnipeg, and one from Regina, and they are looking to see what designs are wanted, Warren said. Right now, the discussions are the overall look and layout of the facility. There was a community consultation with groups who would use the space. Warren then said it was in council’s hand as to what they want to see from the facility, and what the funding will be for the project.
Councillor Mel Van Betuw was the first councilor to comment on the report, mentioning it will be more of a community center than a field house since it will attract a large number of people from across the city, not just those who are involved in sports. From there, Councillor Dick Michel said he was in favor of the project, and there is work to be done to get it ready, reiterating it is more of a community facility the city will be proud of going forward.
When it comes to funding, Councillor Winston Bailey wanted to make sure council knows what the city will get for their dollar.
“I think we have to keep that in mind,” Bailey explained. “What are we going to get for this smaller dollar, what are we going to get the mid-size, or what are we going to get for the full meal deal, and where is this going to fit into the city’s budget.”
Councillor Jeff Richards agreed it will be more than just a fieldhouse, but wants the council to be cautious that the right thing is being built. He stated that he wants to make sure decisions about the facility aren’t being made quickly on the timelines of other partners.
City manager Roy Hardy joined into the conversation, pointing out staff has looked at what funding is available. There are some costs which are coming off of the debt load the department currently carries, with an annual cost of $1 million needed to be raised or borrowed to cover the costs of projects of this magnitude.
Further discussion about the fieldhouse is expected by city administration and council over the coming weeks.
The school division has a target of building the new school on the site of the old junior high by September of 2020, with the joint use facility being completed alongside the school at the same time.