THUNDER BAY – A new athletics facility on Lakehead University campus is moving forward.
The project, which would attach a new building on the west side of the existing CJ Sanders Fieldhouse, was formally put out for tender on Wednesday, in advance of the expectation for shovels to be in the ground by the end of the summer.
“It became clear over the last four or five years that we just don’t have enough space for recreational activity,” said Lakehead University athletic director Warden. “What it will do is really expand our recreational activities, our weight rooms, our aerobics space, dance studios, recreational possibilities and activities.
“It really focuses on the wellness and health of our student body, our faculty and staff and our community.”
In a 2018 referendum, the student body overwhelmingly supported the project with 79 per cent of the more than 2,400 votes in favour of the new facility. That question asked students whether they would support a student fee increase of nearly $100 annually for the project.
Warden, who did not answer how much the projected is expected to cost, said those student fees will be the primary source of funding.
“The students are the big driver, the financer behind this initiative,” Warden said. “They are the key part of this building.”
The new facility will include a multi-purpose gymnasium, interior and exterior gathering areas, expanded weight rooms and workout areas, along with other amenities that could include food service and sports medicine.
“It won’t be replacing anything,” Warden said. “What it will be doing is meeting a need where a need is. It’s additional space to our existing space.”