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City Council gives go-ahead to twin-pad McMeeken replacement

'I don't want to Mickey Mouse this project' - Ward 4 Coun. Marchy Bruni
First design 3
Design concept for twin-pad arena by Franco Pastore, principal architect and designer, IDEA Inc.

Sault Ste. Marie City Council has tonight approved replacing the W. J. McMeeken Centre with a new $28.2-million twin-pad arena.

The vote was eight-to-three.

The 85,000-square-foot arena will have two National Hockey League-sized rinks.

"I don't want to Mickey Mouse this project," said Ward 4 Coun. Marchy Bruni.

Mayor Provenzano voted for the twin-pad area but said he will not support the project if the tender comes back significantly higher than what council approved tonight.

The mayor also expressed disappointment that the province didn't offer support for the new arena.

City staff estimated a minimal investment of $2.4 million would have been needed to keep the McMeeken Centre going over the next five years.

If councillors had instead approved a one-rink facility, that could have cost between $16 million and $20.8 million.

Here's how your council members voted on building a new twin-pad arena:

  • Ward 1 – Paul Christian - against (preferred $20.8 million single-pad option)
  • Ward 1 – Sandra Hollingsworth - against (preferred $16 million single-pad option)
  • Ward 2 – Luke Dufour - for 
  • Ward 2 – Lisa Vezeau-Allen - for
  • Ward 3 – Donna Hilsinger - for
  • Ward 3 – Matthew Shoemaker - for
  • Ward 4 – Marchy Bruni - for (also wants added walking track)
  • Ward 4 – Rick Niro - against (preferred $16-million or $20-million single-pad option)
  • Ward 5 – Corey Gardi - for (also wants walking track)
  • Ward 5 – Matthew Scott - for (also wants walking track)
  • Mayor Christian Provenzano – for

Further coverage of this story will be posted on SooToday.

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David Helwig

About the Author: David Helwig

David Helwig's journalism career spans seven decades beginning in the 1960s. His work has been recognized with national and international awards.
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