COLUMN BY TANYA COLBURNE
As it’s been a very long time since my PR days at Mount Saint Vincent University in Halifax, I toyed with the best way in which to present the first edition of Cougar Dome Chatter.
Cutline: The Cougar Dome is Truro’s newest multi-sport facility that is entering its final stages of construction. In addition to tennis courts, the Dome will include a golf range, synthetic track and a Subway Restaurant.
For most, the first introduction to the Cougar Dome in Truro came when this weird, Michelin man-type bubble showed up on the grounds of CEC more than a week ago. And although most of you are curious, many are uncertain as to what the Cougar Dome is all about.
Well, let me tell you.
Let’s start at the beginning. Three years ago this December, a local family had an idea. It wanted to build a tennis and multi-sport facility that would provide free access to all students (21,000 to be exact) within the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board.
Now, it is a reality.
The Cougar Dome will be open prior to the end of this year, which means we are nearing the finish line. As such, I figure it’s time to dispel a few of those myths, and confirm the facts.
What is The Cougar Dome?
– A not-for-profit organization. Yes, we have a charitable registration number.
– A tennis and multi-sport facility, which means what? In terms of the basics, the Dome (meaning the bubble itself) has six, full-size tennis courts, 15,000-square foot portable synthetic turf surface (expandable as needed), a three-lane 326m synthetic track, long and triple jump pits and a 10-bay golf range.
– In addition to the Dome, the attached, permanent clubhouse will house locker rooms, lounge, reception area, pro shop, meeting room (which can be rented), my office (I know, I’m spoiled) and Truro’s newest Subway Restaurant, including the first-ever in Atlantic Canada, Subway Café (I need my morning coffee, so I’m really excited about this one).
The Cougar Dome will provide free access to students between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., while at the same time ensuring open access for general public use during school hours, as well as early mornings, evenings and weekends. Information regarding our hours of operation, fees, schedules and programs will be available soon.
What is The Cougar Dome is the easy question to answer. The harder question is how is the Dome being funded?
Here’s the deal.
To build The Cougar Dome, the cost is $2.1 million; $1.5 million of which has already been raised thanks to the incredible support we have received from our public funders, corporate sponsors and private donors. However, we still have some work to do.
It is our hope that we will be able to complete this build debt-free as any/all contributions are one-time only (i.e. all contributions are used for the build and/or initial equipment needs).
As a not-for-profit, we are not looking to make money. After our doors open, any/all revenues will go towards operating expenses and should we be fortunate enough to have a surplus, at any time, that money will be put back into the pot to be used for recreational programming, and/or infrastructure within our community.
That said, should any of you be kind enough to consider a contribution, please know there are many ways to give.
A cash contribution via a sponsorship or donation is always appreciated. No amount is too small, and every little bit counts so please don’t feel intimated by numbers.
An in-kind contribution can be equally as important, as any reduction to the cost of the build reduces the need for additional funds. Whether lumber, flooring, paint, furniture, etc. – it all counts.
Voting for our entry to win $150,000 through the AVIVA Community Fund, starting Oct. 21 at (https://www.avivacommunityfund.org/users/registration/register) is another important way to aid in our final fundraising efforts.
And finally, if time and energy are something you are in a position to give, volunteers are always welcome, needed and very much appreciated.
Needless to say, there are many ways in which to help us in our efforts over the next few months and should you be willing, I would ask that you contact me directly at email@example.com.
Also, for any of you who may have questions or concerns related to the Cougar Dome, feel free to email me any time.
Athough I have a million other things I would like to chat with you about today, unfortunately, I’ve exceeded my word limit covering off the housekeeping items. I will have much more interesting chatter for you next month.
In the meantime, I want to tell you this facility is going to be amazing, and I am really excited that we will soon be able to open our doors to each and every one of you!
Tanya Colburne is the facility director for the Cougar Dome in Truro. Her column will appear monthly in the Truro Daily News and is available on trurodaily.com.