New $33-million facility for gymnasts and climbers coming to Whitehorse | CBC News
There’ll be a new place to climb and somersault in Whitehorse in a few years’ time.
At a news conference in the Polarettes Gymnastics Club in Riverdale on Thursday, Yukon’s MP Brendan Hanley and the territory’s Community Services Minister Richard Mostyn jointly announced a new gymnastics and climbing facility is coming to the Whistle Bend neighbourhood.
It will replace the current facilities climbers share with Whitehorse schools.
“This building will be equipped to host events from birthday parties to national gymnastics competitions, bringing more people out to connect with the community and more people to enjoy our wonderful city,” Hanley told reporters.
The planned 3,000-square-foot facility will be built to Canada Games standards, Mostyn said. He gave no firm timeline, but said the project is out to tender and will likely be completed within two years.
The federal government is contributing about $31.5 million, while Yukon government is spending about $2.5 million.
Kimberley Jones is head coach and executive director of the Polarettes Gymnastics Club. She says the club has been lobbying for a new facility for nearly a decade. During that time, she says club membership has more than doubled to about 1,400 children and youth, and there are nearly 500 on the waitlist.
“It’s safe to say that we’re limited only by our lack of space,” she said at Thursday’s announcement. “We’ve been extremely grateful for this [current] facility. We’ve just outgrown it.”
Mostyn says there are no plans for the Polarettes’ current facility once the club moves out. The club will be responsible for providing its own gymnastics equipment at the new facility on Goddard Way.
Joti Overduin, vice president of Climb Yukon Association, says a new indoor facility will make it easier to attract more people to the sport. She says sharing a facility out of Porter Creek High School has been limiting.
“If we had a lot more space we’d have the ability to accommodate more climbers,” she said. “And the access hours are just really difficult for most Yukoners.”
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