Gauging need for facility

There has been interest in a new multi-use indoor turf facility in the city for some time, and Darcy Zaharia is hoping a public meeting next Thursday will help determine just how much.

“This is not a City thing,” said Zaharia who sits on Yorkton Council. “I’m more representing football for this.”

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Zaharia said while the initial facility being discussed was created by soccer, football could certainly use such a facility off-season for training.

The idea for such a facility began a few years ago when a small group of parents of Yorkton United FC soccer players began to talk about the possibility of an indoor turf facility. They thought that if other communities like North Battleford, Prince Albert and Moose Jaw could support indoor turf facilities, why couldn’t Yorkton, noted Zaharia.

The City does have the Nexera Flexihall, but there are limitations to that facility.

“The Flexihall’s concrete floor has been taking its toll on players’ knees and ankles and, because of other important events, Yorkton United, the Flexihall’s primary user, has lost access to the facility for as much as 30 per cent of the indoor season,” noted a report carried in Yorkton This Week Sept. 27, 2018. “A few years ago, Yorkton United FC approached the city about improving the Flexihall by purchasing removable indoor turf. The City could not enter into that arrangement because the Flexihall is used for many events which would require frequent and time-consuming removal and storage of the turf.”

From there the idea of a new facility began to take greater shape.

“Yorkton United FC got some conceptual drawings of a potential facility which could be located South of Yorkdale School and west of the outdoor soccer fields adjacent to the water treatment plant,” detailed the September article. “The group has also held conference calls with a Canadian company that builds and manages sports complexes across Canada.

“The building committee has looked at different configurations of buildings as well. Currently, the goal is a full sized soccer pitch, change rooms accessible from inside and out, office and retail space housed in a steel structure. This type of structure has a life span of around 40 years and would cost in excess of $12,000,000. Also on the table is an air-suspended dome structure which would cost much less to build - around $4,000,000 - but the life span of the ‘bubble’ as it is sometimes called, is 15 to 20 years and is much more expensive to operate and maintain. The bubble structure also requires a pre-existing building with change rooms, public spaces and mechanical to attach to, another cost not accounted for in the $4,000,000.

Zaharia said when you start looking at a project of the cost you need to have as many groups as possible involved.

“You have to try and get as many groups as possible interested,” he said.

That is what the meeting Thursday will hope to gauge. Zaharia said he has contacted a number of sport groups representing lacrosse, baseball, football, soccer, gymnastics, in hopes they will attend the meeting so a better idea of what users might exist for a new facility if it were built.

“We’ll see how many people are interested,” he said.

The meeting will be held at the Yorkton Public Library, starting at 7 p.m. and the public is welcome.

© Copyright Yorkton This Week

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