Mark Clairmont |

BRACEBRIDGE — Finally a chance to visualize just what all that digging in the dirt and snow is next to the YIG.

The Town of Bracebridge has just come out with a couple of renderings for residents to get their heads around what a new multi-use community centre will one day look like for Bracebridge — “and the other communities in Muskoka” — it says in a holiday release a week before Christmas.

Yesterday, Dec. 18, they said council “unanimously approved” a preferred master site concept for the proposed arena/library/community centre, which would be called the  Bracebridge Multi-Use Community Centre (MUCC), as prepared by MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects (MJMA).

The site concept will be used in the development of the schematic design, which is then used in the detailed design phase.

The MUCC will house a single pad arena, community hall, public library, multi-use field house, concession/café, outdoor playground, trails and open spaces.

At the same time, to meet future community needs, an area for a second ice pad is being included for building at a later date.

No date for completion was included in the latest release; and though ground work has commenced on cleaning up the site, sports and culture fans shouldn’t expect its doors to open much before 2022, pending funding.

The Town says it has submitted an application for funding under the Community, Culture and Recreation Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program “for the development of a new multi-use community centre (MUCC) to serve the citizens of Bracebridge and the other communities in Muskoka.”

The funding application, containing more than $49.1 million in eligible project expenses, includes a request for $36 million from upper levels of government.

If the application is successful, the town could receive $19.6 million from the federal government and $16.4 million from the provincial government.

Bracebridge residents would then be responsible for the remaining $13.1 million, plus all ineligible project costs, which would push the cost to upwards of $50 million.

“This is another important step forward in making this project a reality,” said Mayor Graydon Smith.

“While there is still much to be done, I am confident that we are getting ever closer to the finish line on a project that will be transformative for our community and all of Muskoka.”

The site concept is a result of the architechts’ Concept Design, Feasibility Study and Order of Magnitude Costing completed in 2017 by MJMA.

It included community engagement sessions and with the Recreation, Parks and Trails Master Plan planning process.

Accoding to the town release, it provides “an unprecedented opportunity for the town to expand its inclusive and accessible recreation, culture and community service programming.”

It says the plan provides:

  • a strong “street presence” for the new facility
  • optimal access to both the arena and the fieldhouse
  • a clear and convenient pedestrian connection to the facility
  • ample on-site parking with convenient pedestrian access to both library and arena activities
  • a prominent position for the new library on the site and in relationship to the streetscape • space for future parking, which will remain as parkland until a second ice surface is added to the facility
  • a front courtyard area providing a multipurpose outdoor area for recreation or library activities
  • green space to the rear of the facility for public use
  • a prominent location for an accessible playground area
  • a strong functional relationship between library, arena, field house and other uses housed in the new facility.
The proposed new MUCC between the YIG and Monck school is a $50 million project.

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