EDITOR'S NOTE: Colchester mayor Bob Taylor and Greg MacArthur, the co-chairs of the civic centre project steering committee, issued the following statement to address recent developments regarding the project.
TRURO – The progress and naming of our civic centre has caused a lot of concern in the
We, as co-chairs of the civic centre project steering committee, would like to take this
opportunity to explain the process.
As to the progress of the construction, although we had hoped the facility would open in October, the construction schedule set out by PCL, the contractor, was for 27 months with a finish date of Nov. 19, 2012.
As with many projects of this size,
unforeseen circumstances arise which cause delays.
This is the case here, which will delay the project at least two months. Even a staged opening is not practical. We want
this facility completely operational before we open the doors.
We want to be clear that this is a community facility owned by the County of Colchester
and the Town of Truro. A project steering committee was set up and entrusted by both
councils for the construction of the facility and now an operations board has been
established to oversee the ongoing operations.
The project steering committee was set up by the county and the town four years
ago. It is an eight-member board comprised of four council representatives and four
citizen representatives. In each case, two of each are from the town and the county.
The project steering committee is made up of four committees, one being the
fundraising committee, which is chaired by Jon Stanfield. The fundraising committee
committed to raise $5.5 million for this project.
As part of the fundraising campaign, which is typical for a project of this magnitude, a
naming rights policy was established to attract major sponsors. This policy set out the amount of funding required to name the facility, the arena, the aquatics centre and
various other components of the facility.
The naming policy also set out the type of
public announcement that would be made according to the amount of the funding.
These policies were approved by the project steering committee.
In the case of the recent announcement of the facility, the Rath Eastlink Community Centre was approved at a meeting of the project steering committee as the combined contribution of Stu Rath and John Bragg met the goal set out in the
policy for the naming of the facility.
This also qualified for a special event to announce and honour this commitment. What is important here, which was important to us on the project steering committee, is that it is a community centre and that is recognized in the name.
The article in the Tuesday edition of the Truro Daily News referring to the
announcement of the facility naming stating, ‘the gathering is not open to the public' sent a poor message which was not acceptable or authorized by us, the co-chairs of
The fundraising committee has, and will, make these announcements as set out in the policy.
Rest assured that we feel very strongly that we are building this facility as a community
centre and we want all of the community to feel welcome and enjoy it.
This will start with an official opening to be announced in the near future, which will be open to the public at no charge, to enjoy the facility and all that it has to offer and view activities throughout the facility.
We are building a facility that we can all be very proud of and that community members
of all ages will be able to enjoy for many years. The facility will be able to host many
large events to our area, which is great for our enjoyment and our economy.
It is also the envy of many communities throughout the province and is attracting people and businesses to move here.
We hope that once the doors of this facility are open that everyone takes the opportunity to visit and enjoy, and, similar to the opening of our new hospital, say ‘Wow, this is a great addition to our community.'
It is time to move on, forget about our frustrations and look forward to that opening day.