Optimists encouraged by support for Alvinston arena project

Proposed Alvinston arena expansion

Jamie Armstrong is excited after more than $25,000 was raised at a community dinner for the Alvinston Optimists plan to renovate the local arena.

The Optimist first came up with a $1 million plan to completely renovated the structure, replacing the canteen, adding accessible washrooms and dressing rooms and renovating the lobby.

Municipal council did not have the cash for the project but did give the Optimist approval to apply for federal funding which became available. The request was turned down.

The group then decided to focus on building new washrooms, a concession booth and pavilion which was laid out in a long-term plan prepared by architect Jordan/Cook. It will cost about $400,000.

Friday night, about 110 people came to a $50 per plate dinner and pledged over $25,000 toward the project, according to Armstrong.

More importantly, he says, they came away with a better understanding of what the Optimist Club is trying to accomplish with the architectural plan for the Brooke-Alvinston-Inwood Community Centre.

Armstrong says the Optimist put together a presentation point out other community facilities which were added onto without a lot of thought for the future. “These communities have nice facilities too, but there really wasn’t a plan in place when they built it and now those two things don’t work together anymore. So people are starting to realize we need to have a larger plan in place,” says Armstrong.

He adds the local MP and MPP were also at the event and encouraged the Optimist to continue asking for federal and provincial infrastructure dollars for the project.

The Optimist were handing out pledge forms at the event and Armstrong says teams of Optimists will be going directly to business and homes to see what people will be willing to donate for the project.

Armstrong will also update the municipal council on the project April 14.