The Russell Township Council discussed the complex in a special meeting.
The Russell Township Council discussed the complex in a special meeting.

Russell recreation complex goes to library board

Christopher Smith
Christopher Smith
EAP
The options were weighed, and the costs have been counted.

The Russell Township Council held a special meeting on August 31 to discuss which version of the facilities were to be included in the final layout of the Russell Recreation Complex. Each version of the facilities was detailed in the three-hour meeting, and then Council voted on a combination that made the most sense to them. Please note, all financial figures in this article are approximate projections. 

The first facility considered was the hockey arena. Council had to decide whether to include one, two, or three hockey rinks, each with 200 seats and a walking track around one of them.  

For three rinks, the initial investment would be around $39,500,000, for two it would be just under $28,000,000, and for one it would be just over $16,200,000. Annual operating costs were projected at just under $4,500,000 for the three-rink facility, $2,400,000 for the two-rink facility, and $1,350,000 for the single-rink facility. Revenue was projected to be almost $2,300,000 for the three-rink facility, $1,250,000 for the two-rink facility, and just under $900,000 for the one-rink facility. 

The next facility considered was the pool. Council had to decide between an 8-lane pool with kiddie pool and sauna, a 6-lane pool with kiddie pool, or a 4-lane pool with kiddie pool. 

For eight lanes, the initial investment would be around $10,300,000, for six it would be just under $7,000,000, and for four it would be just over $7,500,000 million. Annual operating costs were projected at just under $600,000 for the 8-lane pool, just under $640,000 for the 6-lane pool, and $670,000 for the 4-lane pool. Revenue was projected to be $320,000 for the 8-lane pool, $340,000 for the 6-lane pool, and just under $440,000 for the 4-lane pool. 

Please note, these are the correct figures. During the meeting, Mayor Pierre Leroux explained that the size of the facility is not the only thing that affects cost, operating fees, and revenue. 

The third facility considered was a multipurpose space. Councillors had to decide between a performing arts theatre, a gymnasium with a stage, a gymnasium without a stage, or scrapping it in favor of a larger pool area. 

For the theatre, the initial investment would be $4.1 million, for the gym and stage it would be $5.9 million, and for gym only it would be $4.8 million. Annual operating costs were projected at just under $300k for the theatre, just over $400k for the gym and stage, and $345k for the gym. Revenue was projected to be $160k for the theatre, $215k for the gym and stage, and $225k for the gym. 

The last facility considered was the library. Council had to decide whether it was going to be a large 15,000 sq ft space, a medium 7,500 sq ft space, or a small 5,000 sq ft space. 

For the large library, the initial investment would be $7.6 million, for the medium library it would be $5.2 million, and for the small library it would be $4 million. Annual operating costs were projected at $395k for the large library, $334k for the medium library, and $257k for the small library. Revenue was projected to be $215k for the large library, $177k for the small library, and $167k for the small library. 

After a prolonged discussion, the Council decided on the 3-rink hockey arena, the 6-lane pool, and the 5,000 sq ft library, with the theatre/gymnasium being excluded from the plan. Their decision was passed to the Library Board, and a decision will be made on their end by October.