Mayor Bob Crate and Sunny Life director Narisu Huhe
12-month Countdown to Completion Begins
Official name of the 64,000-square-foot facility is the Sunny Life Recreation and Wellness Centre
Article/images by John Campbell
Campbellford – Fri., Sept 29, 2023 – If all goes as planned – and everything is going swimmingly – Campbellford’s new recreation and wellness centre will open a year from now.
The 12-month countdown to completion of the $23 million project began Wednesday morning at the building site on Seymour Quarry Road with the formal announcement that 13 businesses have purchased naming rights at the multi-use facility.
It’s “a great way to launch” a countdown, Trent Hills Mayor Bob Crate said. “We know that the excitement in the community and the user groups is going to continue to build as we get closer to the grand opening next year.”
The official name of the 64,000-square-foot facility is the Sunny Life Recreation and Wellness Centre.
Sunny Life Properties Inc., a Northumberland County-based property development company with two new subdivisions in town, acquired overall naming rights earlier this year when it entered into a 15 year agreement with the municipality.
The centre will house an arena, an aquatics centre with a lane pool and a therapy pool, a conditioning centre, a multi-purpose room, studio space, and viewing areas.
Crate thanked the sponsors for their support “and the momentum it has provided to get us closer to the finish line in terms of financing the community’s share of the facility.”
The federal and provincial governments are contributing $7.6 million and the Campbellford-Seymour Community Foundation $1.5 million.
Trent Hills’ contribution was set at $10.8 million at one point but higher costs as a result of inflation left it with roughly $3 million more that needed to be raised, which led to some design changes being made to reduce costs.
Chief Administrative Officer Lynn Phillips said in an interview that “the project is very close to being fully funded, especially now that we have all these sponsors on board.” They are contributing more than $1.3 million in total, so the “funding gap has decreased substantially.”
And the amount raised through sponsorships could go higher as there are “still a few naming rights opportunities remaining,” she said.
The municipality is “optimistic” the two upper levels of government will provide further assistance.
“We’re told that perhaps there could be some relief coming this fall,” Phillips said. “Nothing is confirmed yet, but certainly by the time the project is completed … next year, we’re fairly confident that it will be totally funded.”
The sponsorships are “a huge help obviously and it sends a message, too … it shows that the community is behind this project.”
Phillips said “it’s nice to see” the centre finally under construction as “it’s been a long time coming” — 15 years – and people driving by the site are in “disbelief that it’s actually, really happening.”
“Everything is going on schedule and on budget, which is great,” Phillips said.
“This project has been running incredibly smoothly,” echoed Community Recreation Officer Peter Burnett. Task Force Engineering Inc. designed and is building the centre; p2i Strategies Ltd is managing the project.
The CAO said the sponsoring businesses “all have somewhat unique contracts,” with terms running from five to 15 years.
Sunny Life director Narisu Huhe said his company’s contribution — $50,000 a year for 15 years – was made to show its appreciation of the support it has received from the municipality. The facility is good for residents and future generations, but it’s also a “benefit to us,” because it will appeal to prospective new home buyers from outside Campbellford.
The following is a list of the other 12 sponsors and the areas for which they obtained naming rights:
— Behan Construction Ltd. (aquatics centre)
— Campbellford Wholesale (arena)
— MacLaren IDA Pharmacy (conditioning centre/gym)
— Min-Tech Inc. (multi-purpose room)
— Canadian Tire (ice resurfacer)
— Rudra Group — Subway and Chicken Kingdom (score clock)
— D&K Home Services by Enercare (water filling stations)
— Bennett’s Furniture and Mattresses (arena viewing area)
— Ashley Tinney-Fischer Professional Corporation (aquatics centre viewing area)
— Empire Cheese Co-operative (home penalty box)
— Village Paint & Paper (home players bench)
— Dooher’s Bakery (visitor penalty box)
To stay abreast of further developments at the rec centre, visit www.trenthills.ca/en/recreation-and-culture/sunny-life-recreation-wellness-centre.aspx