The City of Orillia is expressing disappointment that its new recreation centre won't be ready for the Ontario Winter Games being held in Orillia Feb. 27- March 1st.
Significant progress has been made on the Orillia Recreation Centre, but the contractor has notified the City it will not be open in time.
Of the 27 sports involved in the Games, only three were scheduled to take place at the new facility (Artistic Swimming, Wushu, and Kickboxing). These will now be held at their alternate locations.
A full overview of the event dates and locations will be provided at a later date.
“We are very disappointed that we won’t be able to showcase the amazing new Orillia Recreation Centre during the Orillia 2020 Ontario Winter Games. We held out hope and greatly anticipated the facility would be ready in time for the Games, but after recent meetings with the general contractor it became apparent it would not be ready in time,” said Mayor Steve Clarke.
“The Games Organizing Committee (GOC) has back-up locations and a contingency plan in place for the three events that were scheduled to take place at the Orillia Recreation Centre so there really is no impact to the Games,” adds Jed Levene, Chair of the GOC.
The Orillia Recreation Centre is a very large, complex and intricate construction project. Delays in shipment of material have caused back-ups in being able to schedule necessary work with subcontractors. The shortage of skilled trade workers continues to pose a challenge for the project.
The City continues to do everything it can to work with the contractor to ensure the project continues to progress without sacrificing the quality of work.
“We will not cut corners and rush the final stages of construction for this once-in-lifetime project that I can assure you will be well worth the wait. The general contractor has struggled to communicate an accurate opening, so until we can get a firm date from the contractor the City is not establishing a specific opening date, but our goal is to have it open by this spring,” said Mayor Clarke.
“With a large construction project such as the recreation centre, there are so many moving parts and we are bound by the contractor and multiple trades and suppliers. As a thank you to the community for your ongoing support and patience we plan to offer free community appreciation programs and events once the facility opens,” said Ray Merkley, Director of Parks, Recreation and Culture Department.
The Orillia Recreation Centre program registration date of Jan. 24 is no longer applicable.