Cougardome finishing up final requirements for approval to open
TRURO - A delay in the opening of the Cougardome has pushed back the start of the CC Riders winter soccer season.
The Cougardome is finishing up the final requirements it needs to meet approval from building inspectors this week. The CC Riders winter soccer program was supposed to start in the $2.2-million dome this week, but the kickoff has been pushed back pending completion of the work. Matthew Veno - Truro Daily News
The club was scheduled to kick off its winter training schedule Monday, but the $2.2-million dome has some last-minute touching up to do to get the final stamp of approval from building inspectors.
"We worked with the Riders knowing something like this could possibly happen and unfortunately it's happened," Cougardome manager Tanya Colburne said. "It's disappointing. The dome is ready and we want to be in there and we're doing everything we can so there's no future delays."
The postponement of the start of the season is being held on a week-to-week basis so all programming can start on the same week.
Colburne said the dome could receive its clearance as early as Wednesday.
The plug was pulled on the start of the season on Friday, when inspectors informed Colburne of the further improvements needed.
"We had met all of the requirements but these latest ones we've been informed of were not something we were previously privy to," Colburne said. "So we're working as quickly as we can to adhere to the requirements."
Colburne said the delay is strictly through the dome itself and not the attached offices which are still being constructed.
The soccer club has 221 players waiting to take part in weekly training sessions from ages 5 to 18. That's a huge increase from the 149 players who took part last year when sessions were held at the Agridome on the Nova Scotia Provincial Exhibition Grounds in Bible Hill.
The winter program is scheduled to continue until mid-March although it's uncertain at this point whether the schedule will be extended or condensed to make sure players get all the field time they've paid for. Riders president Esben Arnfast said that decision will be made once it becomes more clear how long the delay will last.
The Cougar Dome is a 50,000-square-foot (350 feet by 140 feet), indoor athletic complex consisting of six tennis courts, a three-lane synthetic running track and 16,000 square feet of artificial turf, which can be moved or increased in size.
It also includes track and field jumping pits and a 12-bay golf range.
The building will be open for public use and free to the 21,000 students in the Chignecto-Central Regional School Board.
Arnfast said although the association's staff knew a delay in the opening of the Cougardome was possible, the Riders decided to run their programming there this season anyway feeling it would better meet their needs.
"It wasn't a decision we took lightly," he said. "But we thought the pros outweighed the cons and that it's a little more suitable for soccer."
The Riders will continue to run adult programming at the Agridome this winter.
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