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New NDG sports centre opens
Article mis en ligne le jeudi 20 janvier 2011

 
Photo: Anya Karadeglija

Visitors inspect the pool area at an open house at the new Notre-Dame-de-Grâce Sports Centre.

Sharon Johnson had a look at the pool with her five-year-old grandson. “It’s so big and airy, and the fact that you can look outside? Amazing. My little one, he’s going to come here to learn how to swim,” she said.

Many people praised the pool area, which has two pools and a glass wall overlooking the park, as well as doors that lead to an outdoor terrace. The building also features a gymnasium, weight room, two multipurpose rooms and a café.

Joe Lee, a former personal trainer who was touring the facility with his son Jordan, was disappointed by the size of the weight room. “Especially if it’s not well air conditioned, in the summer, it’s going to be like a sweatbox. It’s very, very small, and there’s no free benches here of any sort,” he said.
Marc Cassini was one resident who praised the project, explaining that “we live close by and we’ve been anxiously awaiting the opening of the centre for a couple of years. It’s a fantastic facility to have within walking distance.”

“I know a lot of people had criticisms because of taking away the green space,” said Deborah Henderson. “When I first saw that something was going on, I was bringing my little grandson to the park, and they had roped off the whole area, and I thought ‘what the heck is going on here? We’re losing the park!’ But it works, and it’s worth it.”

Joe Wiecha said he wasn’t bothered by the location of the building. “The park is plenty big – the new building seems to have the same footprint as the old outdoor pool, just a little larger. I think it’s a good trade-off,” he said.

The centre will officially open on Jan. 24.

[Anja Karadeglija]





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