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Sault College unveils new Waterfront Adventure Centre (13 photos)

Sprawling new centre to offer court, watersports rentals to public

Sault College unveiled its brand new, $2.3 million Waterfront Adventure Centre Friday, which will allow Saultites a host of watersports and recreational options at the former RYTAC site. 

The site was bequeathed to the college by the Dr. Lou and Mae Lukenda Charitable Foundation.

“Dr. Lou, when I met with him, wanted to preserve and rehabilitate this site for community and college use - and I hope you feel that we’ve honoured his vision with this centre,” said Sault College President Dr. Ron Common during the grand opening. “I can speak for many of us at the college when I say we immediately saw the amazing potential of this location, and so we’re grateful for the opportunity to bring it up to this beautiful space you see today.”

The Waterfront Adventure Centre - with more than 5,000 square feet at its disposal - will host a handful of the college’s natural environment programs, and will offer a number of watercraft and court rentals, including: 

  • Canoes
  • Kayaks
  • Stand-up paddleboards
  • Pickleball
  • Tennis
  • Beach volleyball
  • Bicycles (supplied by Velorution)

The boathouse and Franklin Prouse Centre - which accounts for nearly 5,000 square feet of the site - was designed by David Ellis and built by Barban Construction. 

“Holistically, it’s an incredible hub for activity,” said Sault College Athletics Manager Paul Orazietti. “We see it as being a classroom space, a teaching space. We see it as being a community recreation space, a tourist hub.”

“I’m really excited to be part of that, and connected to the history of what was probably the best place in the Sault to go access the water.” 

Orazietti says the old RYTAC site holds a lot of memories for Saultites since the original site opened July 1, 1902. 

“We’re very, very fortunate to have been able to revive what it used to be, and I think, then some,” he said. “This new building, there’s no comparison between this brand new facility and what the old building was.”

Funding for the new centre was provided by NOHFC, FedNor, Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities, Sault College and $171,000 in donations. 

The public can check out more information and make online bookings through the Waterfront Adventure Centre website.

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James Hopkin

About the Author: James Hopkin

James Hopkin is a reporter for SooToday based in Sault Ste. Marie
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