Landmark facility will anchor redevelopment of city's downtown core, welcome world's top athletes
MARKHAM, ON, Oct. 9, 2012 /CNW/ - The excitement was palpable today in downtown Markham as a ceremonial groundbreaking officially kicked off construction on the landmark Markham Pan Am and Parapan Am Centre, a host venue for the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games.
Located in the city's developing downtown core, the facility will host water polo, badminton and table tennis during the Pan Am Games in July 2015, and table tennis competitions during the Parapan Am Games the following month. It is the second sporting venue for the Games to break ground in as many weeks. Members of the Government of Canada, Province of Ontario and the City of Markham took part in the official ceremony.
The overall project costs for this facility are anticipated to come in at $78.52 million, below the estimated budget of $85.7 million. Of the $78.52 million, $59.3 million is the amount to build and finance the project. The remainder is comprised of capital expenditures for equipment, transaction fees, project management and other ancillary costs. These costs were driven down by a rigorous tendering process led by Infrastructure Ontario.
"Over the next two years, anyone walking or driving past this site in Markham will witness a physical countdown to the Games as this remarkable facility takes shape," said Ian Troop, Chief Executive Officer of the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015).
"The Markham Pan Am and Parapan Am Centre is an example of how Games infrastructure is spurring much-needed sports and recreation facilities in communities across southern Ontario," he added.
The welcoming design of the 14,816 square metre (159,480 sq. foot) multi-purpose centre features a glass front with splashes of colour. Inside, it boasts a triple gymnasium with approximately 3,345 square metres (36,000 sq. feet) for training, competition and community use, as well as a 10-lane, 50-metre Olympic-sized swimming pool.
The pool also features a 12.5-metre movable floor and bulkheads, similar to those to be installed at the Pan Am and Parapan Am Aquatics Centre and Field House presented by CIBC at the University of Toronto's Scarborough campus. The pool's depth can be altered to meet the accessibility needs of the Centre's clients, ensuring the highest functionality possible for both community use and as a competitive centre for aquatics. Together, the Markham and Scarborough facilities are bringing three new Olympic-sized pools to the region, more than doubling the current number.
The 12.5-metre-high clear ceilings of the Centre's field house also meet international badminton, volleyball and other sport height requirements for an ideal field of play.
In addition to the athletic facilities, the Centre also makes space for several all-purpose rooms, meeting areas and a two-level fitness centre for optimal community use at the 2.4-hectare property at 16 Main St. Unionville.
"This is a wonderful day for residents of Markham," said Markham Mayor, Frank Scarpitti. "We are building a world-class sports centre to host top athletes in 2015, adding another major destination attraction in our city that visitors and residents alike will enjoy for years to come, and delivering on our vision of a vibrant new downtown centre for Markham."
"As a key supporter in Building the Pan and Parapan Am Games, the Harper Government is pleased to be making a significant investment in the new Markham Pan Am and Parapan Am Centre," said the Honourable Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport). "Not only will our contribution bring state-of-the-art sport facilities to the Greater Toronto Area, it will leave behind high-performance sport and community recreation legacies that will benefit athletes and families for years to come."
Last month, Infrastructure Ontario entered into a contract with Bondfield Construction Co. Ltd. through a public tendering process to build and finance the Markham project, as well as two other venues, for the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games. The other venues are located at the downtown campus of the University of Toronto and in Etobicoke.
Construction of the Markham Pan Am and Parapan Am Centre will be completed in the summer of 2014.
"This state-of-the-art facility will help anchor the redevelopment of Markham's downtown core, and provide an economic boost through job creation," said Charles Sousa, Ontario Minister responsible for the Pan/Parapan American Games. "The McGuinty government is proud to support this new recreation centre and sport facility which will serve Markham's growing population for years to come."
TO2015 officially broke ground in late September on the Pan Am and Parapan Am Aquatics Centre and Field House presented by CIBC at the University of Toronto's Scarborough campus. In January 2012, construction started on the CIBC Pan and Parapan Am Games Athletes' Village, which is revitalizing the West Don Lands along Toronto's waterfront.
Last week, TO2015 also announced the venue clusters and sport program for the TORONTO 2015 Parapan Am Games.
The Organizing Committee will issue quarterly budget updates starting later this fall.
About the TORONTO 2015 Pan American/Parapan American Games
The Pan American and Parapan American Games are one of the world's largest international multi-sport events, held every four years for athletes of the 41 member nations of the Pan American Sports Organization (PASO) and 26 member nations of the Americas Paralympic Committee (APC). The Pan American Games are comprised of all Olympic Summer Games sports, as well as traditional Pan American sports, while the Parapan American Games are comprised of the majority of Paralympic Summer Games sports. The TORONTO 2015 Pan American/Parapan American Games will draw more than 10,000 athletes, coaches and team officials and feature 51 sports in municipalities across the Greater Golden Horseshoe area. The TORONTO 2015 Pan American Games will take place July 10−26 and the Parapan American Games August 7-14. For more information about the Games, please visit TORONTO2015.org.
SOURCE: Toronto 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games
For further information:
Communications Advisor, TO2015