Mount Pearl strengthens niche as place to play

Mayor says new facility will be top notch

Bonnie Belec
Published on November 5, 2013
Premier Kathy Dunderdale (left) and Melanie Hallett, president of the Campia Gymnastics board of directors, unveil plans for the gymnastics club’s new facility in Mount Pearl Monday morning. At right is Mount Pearl mayor Randy Simms.
— Photo by Keith Gosse/The Telegram

A new $1.8-million recreational facility for Mount Pearl will be built on Old Placentia Road.
The City of Mount Pearl is donating the land — across from the
A & W, just before the entrance to Donovans Industrial Park — for the construction of the building, which will be the new home of the Campia Gymnastics Club.

The announcement was made Monday at Mount Pearl City Hall by Mayor Randy Simms, Premier Kathy Dunderdale and Municipal Affairs Minister Steve Kent with thanks coming from club president Melanie Hallett.

The proposed 12,000-square-foot facility will contain 10,000 square feet of gym floor space, 25-foot ceilings, in-floor tumbling and trampoline pits, spectator viewing, offices and storage rooms.

“This larger facility will allow us to eliminate the wait list of 200 people and provide opportunities to cross train athletes,” said Hallett.

“It will also give us an opportunity to bid on hosting regional, provincial and Atlantic gymnastics competitions. This new facility will allow for more children in the community to participate in a sport that is of significant demand,” she said.

Hallett said, as a foundation and early development sport, gymnastics is a perfect vehicle for young children to create the building blocks and habits for success in physical activity sports and active lifestyles and it is for this reason gymnastics has been recognized by Sport Canada as one of three foundation sports.

She told the gathering there are more than 900 athletes enrolled in the  program, with a wait list of 200.

“Thank you for the donation and recognizing the needs of the organization. A contribution of this magnitude will help realize our dream,” she said.

Formed in 1986 and merging with the Conception Bay South club in the late 1990s, the club has since outgrown its leased space in a warehouse in Donovans.

Kent said that’s no secret.

“It  has experienced tremendous growth over the years. This new facility will be a true home to Campia and allow them to develop better programs,” said the MHA for Mount Pearl North, who once worked and volunteered for the club.

Simms said the new building plays into the city’s strategy of being a regional gathering place where droves of people want to come  to play.

He said the city has found its tourism niche through recreation.

“We don’t have a Signal Hill. We don’t have the adventure tourism. We want people to come to Mount Pearl to play. And by doing that and making this a real recreation focal point for the province we will draw tourists and other people to the community,” said the mayor.

Simms said council came to that conclusion a few years ago and since then has been working towards making Mount Pearl a recreational hub for the region, which includes the construction of a top-notch $34-million multiplex.

Dunderdale, whose visit to Mount Pearl City Hall was her first time in the chamber, said the new building will benefit the families and children of the city and the region for many years to come.

“Regional infrastructure is one of the most critical investments we can make as a government. The ability of our people to be physically active, socialize and gather with the members of the community is what makes communities happy,” said the premier.

She said since 2008, the province has invested more than $650 million in municipal infrastructure.