The Town of Bracebridge has received notification from the Ministry of Infrastructure that it’s application for funding under the Community, Culture and Recreation stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) has not been nominated by the Province to move forward for Federal consideration. The funding would have been used to support construction of the new Multi-Use Community Centre (MUCC) slated to commence in early in 2021. The application, containing over $49.1 million in eligible project expenses, included a request for $36 million from upper levels of government.
The Town has spent many years preparing for the MUCC and assembled an extremely thorough application, taking all due diligence measures and gathering support throughout Bracebridge and the entire Muskoka community. The provincial assessment criteria included reviewing projects based on Community Need, Community Support, Lack of Similar Services Accessible Nearby, Operational/Financial Capacity, Value for Money, Asset Management Planning, whether projects were open to the public and efficiencies through joint projects. No specific disclosure has been made by the Province as to why the project was not nominated.
“While I am deeply disappointed that the Province did not move our project on to the next phase, I am very proud of Council and Staff for the incredible amount of work they have done in preparation for this opportunity. With over 1,700 pages of supporting documentation as part of our application, we left absolutely nothing on the table and little to chance; however, applications for funding by municipalities in Ontario exceeded available program funds, which always meant success would be difficult,” said Bracebridge Mayor Graydon Smith.
Despite this setback, the Town continues to move forward on the development of the MUCC with its project management team (Colliers) and architects (MJMA). The steering committee will continue to meet and look at next steps, including phasing portions of the project.
“From day one we have realized that this is a large, complex plan with many variables, so we have developed multiple options to allow us to keep moving forward,” said Smith. “Funding talks will continue with Government and Private sources to ensure that Bracebridge has a facility which will be transformative and beneficial for the entire community and beyond.”
The MUCC design includes a single pad arena, community hall, public library, multi-sport field house, concession/café, outdoor playground, trails and open spaces. At the same time, to meet future community needs, an area retained for a second ice pad is being included as part of the Multi-Use Community Centre.
On April 22, 2020, Bracebridge Town Council unanimously approved a preferred Schematic Design for the new Bracebridge Multi-Use Community Centre, as prepared by MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects (MJMA). The schematic design was used in the design phase of the Multi-Use Community Centre, which is expected to be presented to General Committee in early September.
The design builds on the work previously undertaken during the Concept Design, Feasibility Study and Order of Magnitude Costing completed in 2017 by MJMA, the Refined Master Site Design Concept approved by Council on January 23, 2020, the information gathered from Community Engagement opportunities and the Schematic Design approved by Council in April, 2020.
Regular project updates will be provided by the Town as work on the MUCC continues.
For further information on the Multi-Use Community Centre Project visit the Town of Bracebridge website.