Unlikely pair partner up in Nelson

Two local clubs are wondering if they’d be better together.

Two local clubs are wondering if they’d be better together.

The Nelson Curling Centre and the Nelson Squash Club are currently investigating whether a strategic partnership to share the aging curling centre building could work.

The building, leased from the City of Nelson is currently underutilized and encounters ongoing repairs, maintenance and high utility expenses. The curling rink has a sand floor, which eliminates the use of the large open space in the off season, but has the potential to facilitate non-curling events for other private and public building sharing partners.

The partnership exploration started with the curling centre evaluating their long-term financial viability, which results in the need to look for building sharing partners. NCC regularly applies for grants and funding to secure the financing needed to renovate the building and deliver new curling programs.

The exploration for a partnership was approved in principle by the curling membership.

While the Nelson Squash Club is alive and well, still operating above The Royal at 330 Baker Street, the tenancy at their current location is uncertain and prevents the growth of their sport, they say. So, the club has been looking for a new facility.

The squash and curling clubs have had an initial architectural and engineering feasibility report completed, looking at the construction of squash courts in the building, and other extensive renovations. The feasibility report will be presented to the curling club members at a Special Resolution Meeting scheduled for November 4.

The curling and squash clubs are hoping to have the support of the Nelson and District Recreation Commission for their proposed partnership. The commission is slated to meet this month to discuss the usage of the existing buildings within the recreation precinct, and move forward on a plan for recreation for Nelson and District.

The Nelson Curling Centre, who had 175 members last year, is preparing for the upcoming curling season that is filled with re-energized programs. Weekly leagues start October 14 and include mixed, mens, seniors and ladies. New curling programs include Learn-To-Curl, Little Rockers and Youth League after school all starting October 28.

“Nelson Curling Centre would like to encourage people of all ages to try the sport of curling, because it’s great fun and exercise, not to mention a Canadian tradition,” says a release issued by the club. Visit nelsoncurling.com for more information.

Squash courts have been available to the public above the Royal Hotel for almost 30 years. In 2011, the club membership formed a non-profit society to run the club operations when the last private operators decided to move on due to redevelopment plans for the building.

Full-season membership includes 24/7 key access to the facility, which has change rooms and showers, a modest lounge area and two international-size courts. Men’s and women’s leagues run fall through spring, with two major tournaments and several mini tournaments over the course of the season.

Access and membership information can be obtained by email at nelsonsquashclubinfo@gmail.com.