New concession booth planned
for Davidson Centre
By Liz Dadson
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A group has come forward with plans to renovate the concession booth at the Davidson Centre.
Dr. Gary Gurbin and his wife, Diane Barker, addressed council last night (July 6), with a proposal to modernize the facility located at the far end of the pool viewing area.
Barker said there is a lot of open space in that area while the concession booth is crammed in a "cave" underneath the recreation office.
"We would like to improve and modernize the booth and provide seating so the public can enjoy the Davidson Centre and all the expanded area of that facility," she said. "The concession booth is not easily seen by visitors in its current location set back in a corner below the ramp."
Gurbin said he can remember when the Davidson Centre was dedicated in the 1970s and that concession booth has never been updated.
The group wants to move the front wall of the booth out six feet into the open area and expand the concession portion, said Gurbin. Already, major parts of the proposed project have received generous donations of time and material.
Barker said the plan is to dedicate the new and improved concession booth in memory of Tara Chatham who was killed in a car accident April 19, 2009.
Tara grew up in this area, attended Ripley-Huron Community School and Kincardine District Secondary School, said Barker. She participated in sports as an athlete and a coach - particularly hockey, ringette and baseball.
"She was a special person to many people who want to find a way to commemorate her and what she contributed to her community," said Barker. "Tara wore No. 5 when she played sports, hence the reason for the play on words that is the name we are suggesting for the concession booth: Concession 5.
"We believe Tara would approve of an effort to improve the gathering place at the Davidson Centre for children and their parents, as well as other members of the community using the facilities."
Gurbin said the plan is initiate fund-raising for the project and have it completed to a functional level before the 2011-2012 hockey season.
"Preliminary design work and construction would be managed by Tim-Br Mart and Grant Frook Construction, with volunteer labour as appropriate," said Gurbin. "A working group of Tara's friends and family has met and is committed to raising the funds necessary for the project."
This means no cost to the municipality, he said. "On the contrary, other recreation centres operate their concession booths and generate revenue to help pay the cost of operating their facilities."
He added that this is an opportunity to provide healthy food choices to the adults and children using the Davidson Centre.
Gurbin said the cost of the renovation project would be about $25,000.
The next step, he said, is to get approval from council and have a member of council work with the group throughout the project.
"I congratulate you on this initiative," said councillor Kenneth Craig, policy chairman for the recreation department.
"We've known about that 'cave' for a long time," he said. "It's been on a lot of lists of things to do."
Chief administrative officer John deRosenroll suggested recreation director Karen Kieffer and Craig meet with him to go over the proposed project and how it would fit in with the municipality's tendering policy and other requirements.
"You have an aggressive timeline," said Craig, "but I think we can work it out. As recreation policy chairman, I would like to come onboard with some ideas and help out."
Councillor Jacqueline Faubert said this is a perfect example of how the new committee-of-the-whole system of council is working. "We're all sharing in the information about this project, not just the recreation committee. Personally, I remember that accident (involving Tara Chatham). I think this is a wonderful thing to do in memory of a lost loved one."
Council agreed to refer the project to the recreation policy chairman, the recreation director and the chief administrative officer to go over the details, with a recommendation to council as early as possible, so the project can begin.
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Wednesday, July 06, 2011