Alvinston Optimists have until 2017 to raise about $400k for addition

Proposed Alvinston arena expansion

The Alvinston Optimist has until 2017 to raise up to $400,000 for an addition to the Brooke-Alvinston-Arena.

And they know they won’t be getting any tax dollars to help.

The concession stand and washrooms are in need of repair and was scheduled to be replaced in 2016. Instead of simply renovating or replacing the stand-alone building, the service club proposed a different vision.

The group has been advocating a total renovation of the arena. It even paid an architect to come up with a plan to add a new concession stand, washrooms, pavilion, viewing area and reorganize the lobby.

The Optimist has been showing their plans to the public and is looking for pledges. And recently Brooke-Alvinston Council gave the group the go-ahead to begin fundraising for the portion of the plan which would add a new washroom, pavilion and concession stand to the building.

On Nov. 12, council made it clear the municipality would not be able to contribute financially to the project. Mayor Don McGowan says the municipality has agreed to “apply for whatever grants that it can” for the project but “there is no municipal money at the present time.”

McGugan says cash is tight – the municipality is expecting another 15 per cent of its provincial grant will disappear next year – and there are other renovations which need to be done, including making an upstairs washroom accessible and purchasing a new industrial stove.

McGugan says council has given the group until January 2017 to come up with the estimate $350,000 to $400,000 for the renovation.

And it has formed a committee to deal with the project which includes the Optimists, staff and members of council. “The municipality needs to be involved,” says McGugan. “If it gets built, it will be our building. Getting the addition up is only part of the game, looking after it day after day is a whole different game.”

“If it happens fine…If it doesn’t happen will do something else

“It would be nice to be sooner but we have to be realistic that kind of money will take some time to raise,” says McGugan.