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STEPHENVILLE — The year 2013 was a great one for recreation and sport in Stephenville and Mayor Tom O’Brien said that trend will continue in 2014.
He said one of the highlights was the opening of Blanche Brook Park on June 5 that was the culmination of the efforts of many volunteers who helped in the construction.
O’Brien said the town contributed about $20,000 and with support from other levels of government, the local Lions and Rotary clubs, the Walk-A-Ways Parks and Trails Committee spearheaded a multi-phase plan to turn the area into a park.
Another recreation highlight was the opening of the Adam Piercey Memorial Skatepark on July 30.
O’Brien said the town pitched in $20,000 to rebuild the skate park, and through the work of dedicated volunteers, another $20,000 was collected through fundraising initiatives. Both projects are located in the area of a devastating flood in 2005.
“These recreational areas provide a range of activities which can be enjoyed by residents of all ages in our community,” O’Brien said.
He said another highlight for sport and recreation took place in late July when the town of Stephenville entered into an agreement with the provincial government to accept ownership of the West Coast Training Centre.
The agreement includes a $515,000 building maintenance grant and the re-opening of the centre is anticipated to take place early this year.
“Under the operation of the YMCA, the facility will continue to provide a multi-functional venue for sporting and leisure events in our region,” O’Brien said.
The start last fall of construction of a full size regulation soccer pitch at Mayfield in Stephenville is another improvement for the town and the mayor said the completion of the project is hoped to take place later this year.
Also under recreation, in partnership with the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, a re-roofing project was carried out at Regional Aquatic Centre. The building is currently undergoing more work with the installation of a new Dextron Unit, which O’Brien explained is the piece of equipment used to take moisture out of the air.
He said that installation has resulted in shutting down the facility with the work expected to be completed by the end of February.
“This is the first major exterior capital maintenance which has been necessary on the building since it’s opening in 1995,” O’Brien said.