The Nelson Curling Centre has rejected a plan which would have seen the renovation of the existing building and the loss of two sheets of ice.
The plan was to share the building with the Nelson Squash Club, and construct three new squash courts over top of ice sheets five and six.
The plan which would have required the approval of the city was rejected with a strong majority vote by the curling membership after two hours of discussions.
The discussions centered on finance and the future of curling and the ability of the sport to carry on as it has been, without a significant increase in cost to curlers.
The Curling Centre’s plans are now on hold until the city and regional district’s recreation commission decide what the best option is moving forward to improve indoor recreation for the area.
The curling and squash organizations have been working together on a plan that would allow them to focus their individual attention on sport development. The future for both organizations is uncertain due primarily to building maintenance costs for curling; and for squash the future at its existing location above the Royal Pub is uncertain.
The curling rink, originally built by the club, was given to the city in 1994 and was then leased to the curling club for 20 years. The lease will expire next year.
The curling centre building is aging as are the other buildings in the same block. The Civic Centre and the Soccer Quest Centre are also owned by the City of Nelson.
According to a release by the curling club, these buildings have played a significant role in the development of the city’s history, its character and its heritage. Nelson, like many places across the province, is faced with the decision of what to do with their aging buildings.
The recreation commission is made up of six members — three each from the city and the regional district — they are faced with the arduous task of how to improve recreation for our area with minimal cost to tax payers.
The focus of discussions will be the campus concept for the block bordered by Cedar and Hall streets and Front and Vernon streets. The challenge is to create a plan that will meet the architectural and financial vision for incorporating the many facilities within the campus.
The curling centre is working on a plan to share the under used building with other groups from our area, and is envisioning a plan that will allow the building to become a multiuse facility.
The curling centre directors are hopeful that the city will proceed with much needed upgrades to the old buildings that will help the process to begin.