By Mike Williscraft
It may have come as a surprise to many, but last Thursday’s announcement of a $16 million grant for the expansion of Grimsby’s Peach King Centre was the result of many months of planning and effort.
The total cost of the project will be about $22 million, with Grimsby paying $5.84 million towards the total.
Kinga Surma, Ontario’s minister of infrastructure, came to town with a truck load of cash to announce the project.
“I think it is a very key, very important investment especially coming out of COVID – to give something back to the people, so they can exercise and be healthy. It’s also good for mental health,” said Surma during a podcast recorded at NewsNow’s office.
Among the upgrades and added amenities which will be part of the project are:
• Full-sized gym
• In-door walking track
• Multi-use space
• Fitness Centre
• Youth Centre
• EarlyON Centre
• Rooftop outdoor recreation space
• Culture area
• Dressing room improvements
• Parking lot upgrades
At Monday’s council meeting Mayor Jeff Jordan noted the project will cover off nine of 10 recommendations which were included in the Town’s recreation Master Plan.
For Sarah Sweeney, Grimsby’s director of parks, recreation and culture, seeing life breathed into the project meant a great deal.
“It was a bit of an overwhelming day for me that I actually found quite emotional. I have been advocating for this type of project for quite some time, and the potential I see just gets me so excited,” said Sweeney.
For Niagara West MPP Sam Oosterhoff, he’s glad to see grants flowing into the area.
“Coming into this area, we haven’t seen the amount of investment that was needed, especially as we’ve seen huge growth in our population in West Niagara,” said Oosterhoff during NewsNow’s podcast.
Sweeney noted there is still a great deal of work to do in terms of nailing down design, adding the public will be kept up to date at all turns.