On May 19, 2015, the governments of Canada Ontario and Brantford celebrated the start of construction for the new Laurier Brantford YMCA athletic facility. The new fitness centre will serve the growing athletic and recreation demands of Brantford, Brant County and Six Nations residents, as well as students from Wilfrid Laurier University Brantford Campus, Nipissing University Brantford Campus, and Mohawk College Six Nations Polytechnic.
Site preparation for the facility is now taking place, including excavation, lagging, shoring on Water Street and sewer work on Colborne Street. Construction of the centre is expected to be complete sometime in fall 2017. During initial archaeological assessments in October 2014, 1,000 to 1,500 year-old Aboriginal artefacts including stone flakes from the production of tools and pottery fragments were uncovered, and a thorough archaeological investigation of the grounds is now underway. Despite these findings, workers have been able to continue to work away from the three sites where the artefacts were found.
Thanks to funding provided under the Major Infrastructure Component of the Building Canada Fund, the new complex will include an aquatic centre that will meet teaching, fitness, therapy and leisure needs; a fitness centre consisting of multi-purpose spaces for group fitness; and a gymnasium with retractable seating for up to 1,200 spectators. Students and residents will also benefit from social, cultural and educational programming offered at the facility.
- The Government of Canada has committed $16.7 million through the Building Canada Fund – Major Infrastructure Component for this project.
- The Government of Ontario has committed $16.7 million and the City of Brantford has approved $5.2 million for the project.
- Wilfrid Laurier University and the YMCA of Hamilton/Burlington/Brantford will be responsible for all remaining costs. Laurier and the YMCA have announced two leadership gifts of $1 million each, as well as a commitment of $3.6 million from the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union. Total project cost is estimated at $58.4 million.
- The Complex, which is estimated at approximately 130,000 square feet and will span five floors, is expected to be completed in 2017.