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Kin Club launches Sports Dome project GREGG CHAMBERLAIN firstname.lastname@example.org
It will be the biggest, greatest project ever in the young life of the Russell Kin Club, and a foot-stomping dance party during Winter Carnival weekend just seems the perfect way to launch the fundraising for the future Russell Sports Dome. “We’re really excited about it,” said Doug Anthony, Kin Club president, during a phone interview. “We’ve wanted to do some kind of a major project, a bricks-and-mortar thing to give back to the community.” Russell Kin Club members began brain- storming ideas for their first big construction project last spring. By autumn, they had a list of half a dozen potentials, which included a drive-in theatre, a recreation centre, amini- putt golf-and-recreation park, a splash pad, upgrading and enhancing Centennial Pool and the surrounding area along the Castor River, and a sports dome suitable for hosting any number of sports indoors year-round. The recreation centre idea was dropped from the list in anticipation of the township doing its own review and evaluation on a potential future large-scale recreation complex. The sports dome proved the favourite itemon the list so the club began some pre-
liminary cost analysis. Kin Club officials later attended the township’s own public consultation session about a future recre- ation complex for the municipality. «A lot of residents talked about the need for a sports dome,» Anthony said, regarding the meeting last autumn. «We (Kin Club) were smiling inside. Our members’ vote on Nov. 23 was almost unanimous. It was a no-brainer.» The Kin Club sports dome study is based on similar-sized facilities like the Louis Riel Sports Dome on Bearbrook Road in Orléans or the one at Carleton University in Ottawa. «We did hundreds of comparisons,» An- thony said, adding that the sports dome over in Alexandria is a close match in both size and cost to what the club has in mind. The Alexandria sports dome measures 280 ft by 140 ft and costs between $1.4 mil- lion and $1.5 million to erect. The KinClub proposes something similar in size with the addition of a small community centre to providemeeting room spaces for clubs and other groups. Preliminary cost estimate for the project is between $2 million and $2.5 million.
Doug Anthony holds up one of the donation boxes that the Russell Kin Club will be spreading around the township.
The club has a site inmind for the dome, on a municipal lot, between three to five acres in size, located between the villages of Russell and Embrun. «That’s perfect for us,» Anthony said, «because we want to bring all the commu- nities together.” The club seeks an agreement-in-prin- ciple from the township to take charge of operating the dome as a public recreation facility once it is constructed. Next on the project organization agenda will be a com- munity consultation process about what kind of features and amenities the sports
dome should have. Anthony noted that the club is looking at a timeline of two to three years to get the project financed and built. The launch of the club’s own fundraising effort begins during Russell Winter Carnival weekend with a Saturday night dance. This year’s annual Poutmaster Fishing Derby will be the second fundraising effort with part of the proceeds from the derby going into the sports dome construction fund. A third large-scale fundraiser event is planned for this fall once organizers have worked out details.
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