School set for massive investment in Loyola sports centre

A long awaited renovation to the sports and athletics complex at Loyola is in the works. The $40 million project will include additions and renovations to the university’s 41 year-old athletics complex and its adjacent sports field.
The university hopes to begin work on the project’s first construction phase by the end of this year. Phase 1 of the expansion will include new permanent bleachers for the main field as well as the installation of an inflatable dome so the field can be used in the winter.
“For a number of years the university has wanted to build these sports facilities,” said Katie Sheehan of Concordia’s Department of Athletics. “In the last few years we’ve decided to put together a master plan to identify the major components and see how they fit in with the students’ needs.”
Concordia’s director of planning Martine Lehoux has said that for Phase 1 to begin the university will have to sign deals to share the facilities with the city of Montreal in order for the university to be able to secure provincial funding for the $15 million dollar price tag of Phase 1.
Before any construction is to occur, the project first has to meet the approval of citizens living near the development area. The project has received support from mayor Michael Applebaum of the Cote des Neiges/Notre Dame de Grace borough, who held a public consultation meeting to discuss the plan Monday.
Applebaum, who has pledged support for the project, talked about the potential benefits the expansion could provide for the borough.
“It’s a great project not just for Concordia, but also for citizens living in the area,” he said. “We have a partnership with the university to use the outdoor soccer fields, but right now soccer goes out of the borough in wintertime because we have over 1,000 kids who play and no indoor facilities to support them.”
Concordia plans to allow non-students to access these facilities for a fee. There will be hours when the community can use the facilities when the students are not, especially between April and August,” said Sheehan.
Aside from permanent bleachers and a winter dome, the expansion also calls for a 25-metre indoor pool, a brand new gymnasium and a fitness centre. Renovations to the existing complex and a retrofit of the Ed Meagher arena are also in the works.
“We’re here to support [Concordia], to make sure they get the zoning necessary, to work with the citizens if they have any complaints so the project has the least amount of impact on the community,” said Applebaum. “But certainly the biggest challenge will be finding funds from other levels of government.”


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