With any project there is always the possibility of unexpected expenses not considered during design planning stages or rising costs due to construction delays.
It is extremely impressive that a recent sport and wellness project carried out by eager, generous volunteers, supported by community and assisted by a variety of government funding programs, hit its completion target.
The Cougar Dome opened on time and on budget in early January with a few small details left on the to-do list to mark the completion of the project.
Those items have since been done and, as the more than 300 people who attended the grand opening on Feb. 22 can attest, it is a one-of-a-kind complex, to rival any other in Atlantic Canada.
It features the largest tennis and multi-sport facility of its kind east of Montreal. This 55,000 square foot bubble holds six full-size tennis courts, a two-lane 260m competition-quality running track, long/triple jump pits, a 15,000-square foot portable, multi-use turf surface that is expandable when needed, a 12-bay golf range and a clubhouse.
It is also home to Atlantic Canadaâ€™s first Subway CafÃ©.
Not only does the dome offer year-round access to a wide range of recreational activities, it also creates new economic opportunities by attracting national and international sporting events to the Truro area, such as the upcoming Tennis Junior Atlantics.
Generous funding was received for the domeâ€™s construction by the federal government, $300,000 through ACOAâ€™s Innovative Communities Fund (ICF) and also received investments of $100,000 from Nova Scotia Health & Wellness, and $225,000 from Tennis Canada.
However, we would be remiss if we did not acknowledge the financial support from the local community, businesses and individuals, and the countess hours dedicated volunteers have spent hands-on at the facility working to move the project forward.
An amazing feature of the domeâ€™s partnership with the community is that it offers free access to all students, approximately 22,000, within the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board, including the Ã‰cole acadienne de Truro.
We congratulate the domeâ€™s board of directors on their grand opening and commend them for all their efforts to offer such an opportunity to our youth, as well as to promote healthy living for the community as a whole.