Construction on Warwick centre to start in days

249

Heather Wright/The Independent

Warwick Councillors are likely to circle May 17th with a red marker on their calendar.

That’s the day construction on the $11.5 million East Lambton Community Complex project will begin.

Warwick officials have been planning for years to replace Centennial Hall, which was in dire need of repairs in 2017. The final concept of the community centre attached to the arena came together in 2020 and last month, council chose a London contractor to begin the work. Councillors heard Monday that work is finally slated to start in a matter of days.

While there is excitement, there are sacrifices as well. Council agreed there should be no summer programs in the arena this year to help speed up the redevelopment of the arena.

Normally, there are summer programs like ball hockey and summer camp at the complex. That may have been unlikely anyway considering the current state of the pandemic and the affect it is having on group activities.

Theresa Klachan, Manager Parks and Recreation, says it may be possible to have one time events, like the Cornfest Dance, at the arena on weekends. But, it’s not clear if the event will even happen.

Meantime, the municipality has gone to Infrastructure Ontario for an $11 million loan for the project. Initially, the money will be borrowed at 0.6 per cent, says Warwick Treasurer Trevor Jarrett. That will be renegotiated when the build is complete.