TRURO - The package for the new Cougar Dome has been ordered and that means work on the ultra-modern sports facility could start in the next few weeks.
"We hope to break ground by late August or early September as we expect to be opened by November or December of this year," said Annand, the president of the Cobequid Society for Athletic Excellence that will be managing the 49,000-square foot facility.
"We have to because we've already ordered the package."
The covered facility will be located beside CEC and behind the Colchester Legion Stadium. Its portable turf system is expandable to three different sizes, from 120x130 to 120x204, ranging in square footage of 18,000 to more than 24,000.
It will house six international style sized tennis courts, a three-lane track and a portable turf system. Annand believes it will attract more than 30 potential user groups.
"For the value of this project, it offers so much for so many people, from recreational to elite athletes," he said.
With a $2-million price tag, Annand said the facility will benefit many groups, athletes and community members.
"It's for all CEC students and programs - students will have free access during the school year from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday - but it's also for community members and the public," he explained. "Their access is dependent on scheduling but it will be available mornings and evenings, as well as weekends."
The project started following a "substantial" monetary gift by one local family.
"It was a gift to CEC athletics. It was a chance for one local family to give back to all the volunteer coaches and teachers, but now its grown into more than just a gift to CEC athletics. It's for the entire Chignecto Central Regional School Board, community and the county."
While the society has not made a public push for fundraising yet, more than half of the price tag has been raised through donations and funding through different organizations and levels of government.
"We'll also be looking at ACOA and other community individuals that I've talked to and have expressed interest to contribute," said Annand, adding Tennis Canada is also on board for the project.
The society is launching its website, cougardome.ca, sometime next week, as well as its Twitter and Facebook pages.