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Recreation Needs Assessment Study in Woodstock

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The needs assessment study suggests the need for more trails, a new community centre at Cowan Fields, getting rid of and replacing the Civic Arena and Lions Pool.

WOODSTOCK - The draft report for the Recreation Needs Assessment Study for the City of Woodstock is now available online. 

The assessment was done by Monteith Brown planning consultants, based in London. It calls for some major changes, including getting rid of the Lions Pool and building an outdoor pool at Southside Aquatic Centre and Eliminating the Civic Arena and building another ice pad somewhere else. Director of Parks and Recreation Brian Connor's says assessment looks at the needs over the next 10 years and includes several big items.

"Another piece is to move an arena and a gymnasium with some kind of a community centre to Cowan Fields, adding more tennis courts, basketball courts, beach volleyball courts, pickleball courts, cricket grounds. Making a large splash pad and replacing the wading pool at Southside Pool. Again, all these are just recommendations, this is not saying this is going to happen, it is suggestions for council to investigate and look into." 

Connor's says they went through public consultation for this report and one thing was clear from residents. 

"From the public, the highest priority and something we will as a department spend a lot of time on was to further building out trails, because trails and open spaces were really high on the list from the community input." 

Keep in mind, this is just a report, nothing is set in stone and these are just suggestions. Connor's says council would need to make each decision on an individual basis. 

"There is a lot of moving pieces here and budgetary factors. This would come up one piece at a time. Looking at the 2015 Rec Facility Needs Assessment and now the 2022, given the dollar value of the 2022, it is going to be twice as long before we get to all the items, just given how much the cost is."  

A lot of the recommendations in 2015 centred around outdoor facilities, which are expensive, but still a lot cheaper than indoor facilities. 

The report will go before council in early December. You can read the draft online now here. 

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