Wallace Rowsell says while the deal struck between the town of Stephenville and the provincial government on the ownership of the West Coast Training Centre wasn’t what was sought, it’s the next best thing.
The longtime badminton coach and promoter said the final settlement, which saw the town get the building and $515,000 for upgrades, is the middle ground.
The government’s first offer for improvements was $300,000 and the town had been asking for $750,000.
Rowsell said users had hoped the provincial government would continue to own and operate the training centre.
He said there is talk of interest from the YMCA in operating the sports and recreation facility and he’s hopeful that will take place and that the organization will be able to accommodate all sports groups that previously used the facility.
“We know there will be an increase in what we have to pay as the price structure the provincial government had in place was too cheap,” said Rowsell.
“Hopefully the new price structure will be reasonable.”
Rowsell said he heard the facility could be up and running again by the time students return to school this fall and, if that takes place, he said it would be great.
“It was good to hear an agreement was reached and at least they’ve moved on it,” he said.
Rowsell is hoping the scheduling for the different sports won’t pose too many problems and said the user groups will likely get more of an idea when they meet with the operator and move on from there.
Recreation Minister Terry French said earlier this week the government is delighted negotiations were successful with the town, and that an agreement was reached regarding the training centre that will allow it to continue to operate.
He said the government understands the importance physical activity plays in the lives of residents and it will continue to support sport and recreation in the province’s towns and communities.
Municipal Affairs Minister Kevin O’Brien said municipal infrastructure to support recreation is a priority for the provincial government.
He said recreational facilities are an important hub for residents and families and the government is pleased to invest in the West Coast Training Centre so the town can continue to maintain it as a focal point long into the future.
The province has been working with Stephenville on potential solutions regarding the ownership and operation of the West Coast Training Centre for the past several months.
The Western Star