The best case scenario suggests Yukoners will have to wait until spring 2024 before ground breaks on a new Dawson City recreation centre.
Plans for the 6,590-square metre rec centre at the base of the Dome Road include a skating rink, two curling sheets, a gymnasium, an indoor play space, a canteen and offices, according to an update on the Dawson City website.
The online update states the Yukon government and the city are co-managing the planning for the new centre, which is moving into the schematic design process starting in May.
That means the building’s design will be developed and refined based on the scale, scope and location of the selected option at the Dome Road site, which was recommended in a May 2021 feasibility study.
The feasibility study indicates the recommended site is central to the community and the catchment area, plus it is larger and closer to existing outdoor recreation areas.
In the study, the option that was settled on can replace the ice facilities at the Art and Margaret Fry Recreation Centre, while other perks can be added in the future as funding becomes available.
The city already has an existing pool and a fitness centre that have had “injections of funds and the spaces should be utilized for the appropriate lifespan or reconsidered for alternate uses” states the feasibility study.
The latest online update pegs the estimated construction cost of the new centre at $54.1 million.
However, where the money for the project will come from remains unsettled.
In response to questions posed in the legislature by Yukon Party Leader Currie Dixon on April 25, Minister of Community Services Richard Mostyn said the five-year capital plan has confirmed up to $25 million for the project, with roughly $20 million coming from the Investing in Canada infrastructure program and $5 million from the Yukon government.
An application has not been made to the federal government for funding on this project, Mostyn said.
“That is the project that they have come up with, and we’re working with them to find funding for that project,” Mostyn said. “Once the more complete design is ready for a detailed submission to Ottawa, we’ll make that submission to Ottawa.”
A July 23, 2021 memo from Colliers Project Leaders to Cory Bellmore, the city’s chief administrative officer, on the next steps indicates it would be a “reasonable expectation” that the new centre could be opening its doors to the public in late 2024 or sometime in 2025.
Mostyn said the governments are “working toward” completing the project in 2026.
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