Officials with the Town of Bay Roberts are hoping the proposed community centre/clubhouse will push its recreation profile to new heights.
The proposed two-storey clubhouse will be a state-of-the-art facility and feature multiple offices, a full-functioning kitchen, canteen and social space upstairs, while downstairs will feature an equipment room and male and female dressing rooms.
Planned to go on the hill overlooking both the soccer pitch and the baseball field at the Wilbur Sparkes Recreation Complex, there are also plans for a wrap-around deck that will allow users to watch either the beautiful game or a game of slo-pitch.
"It would look similar to the clubhouse at Pitcher's Pond," Bay Roberts recreation director Ian Flynn said last week, referring to the clubhouse at the golf course in Whiteway.
Flynn said it's an asset the town has been doing without since the old clubhouse was shut down years ago.
"We can fit 80-100 people in the building's open space, so it'll be certainly multi-functional" he said. "We'll be able to run summer recreation program out of it, and we can run small events and conferences out of it."
Right now, the complex is without proper dressing rooms, something that has been requested by visiting athletes in the past.
The new clubhouse will feature four dressing rooms in the basement.
"It is something we need as we start growing in sport tourism," said Flynn.
He sees the new facility as a community centre that the town can call its own and will have the opportunity to bring the entire community of Bay Roberts together.
"Once it gets up and running, it'll be a great avenue for people to run their clubs and associations out of," said Flynn.
While there was money accounted for in the 2012 budget to cover the engineering and planning costs, the movement for the new clubhouse really got a kickstart when Flynn entered Bay Roberts into the Molson Coors Community Cheer program.
"It was kind of like the Kraft contest. You put you're name in and then forget about it, then one day you get a call saying you've been selected," he said.
Bay Roberts was selected as one of 64 original communities across Canada.
When Molson selected the town as one of the communities, a campaign started to get as many "cheers" as possible. And, cheers they got.
Some 235 people from the community logged onto the social media site Facebook to lend their support to the campaign. The town needed 225 to be among the finalist for funding.
"It's fantastic support to have when you need these things," said Flynn.
Due to the 235 cheers, Bay Roberts was one of 20 towns selected to get a share of the $1 million prize, and the town received $50,000. A formal presentation was scheduled to take place over the weekend.
"We asked for the moon, because we had nothing to lose. We wanted $100,000 and we got half of that," said Flynn.
The money goes right into building materials for the estimated $400,000-500,000 facility.
The next step
With prize money in hand, Flynn said the next step will be to secure more funding for the building.
"We plan on approaching ACOA (Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency) and the provincial government for additional funding," he said.
Flynn also indicated that the town intends to look at putting the building in its 2013 budget.
There is hope that ground can be broken on the new facility this year, but realistically, Flynn said it'll probably be in 2013.