New athletic centre to benefit more than just athletes

The University of Toronto at Scarborough plans to build a new athletic facility regardless of the outcome of its bid for the 2015 Pan Am games.

Scarborough’s projected athletic facility is aiming to benefit more than just our communities athletes. Still in a bid for the 2015 Pan Am games, the University of Toronto at Scarborough will build a new athletic facility regardless of the outcome.
The size of the facility depends on the bid, which has increased potential funding dramatically.
“We went from what was about a $65-$70 million dollar facility to $200 million overnight,” explains Heidi Calder, assistant director of athletics at UTSC.

Calder has been involved in the planning of a new facility since long before the Pan Am bid. She says she’s glad for the bid because not only will it provide a huge boost in financing, but it means that Scarborough community members will have a new athletic centre sooner.

Calder says the dramatic increase in price will not affect students. What they will be asked to pay will be the same, as the school’s share of the building costs is a fraction of what it would be if the bid were to go ahead.

Expectations are high for the facility’s potential to benefit Canadian athletes. Calder hopes the new facility will act as a pillar of support for athletes looking to train.

“We’re losing to small little countries in Olympics because we just don’t have a huge infrastructure for sports”

Though a plan s haves not been finalized, the athletic centre has already received inquiries from sporting groups eagerjumping to use the unfinished facilitya facility not yet built.

Athletes won’t be the only ones to benefit from the new facility. It has potential to revitalize the entire Scarborough area.

“It does bring in other industries. It’s going to be a community-wide benefit,” says Calder who explained that the Pan Am games would speed up the slated expansion of the TTC’s light rail transit into Scarborough. Improved public transportation around the area would hopefully ease escalating congestion in Scarborough.

Production would also offer employment for U of T students, as well as community members working around the facility in new establishments. This would cater to the added population influx the Games are expected to bring. The new facility clearly exercises more than athletes — it also has the potential to beef up Scarborough’s economy as well.

A decision for the bid will be made toward the end of 2009.