Despite pleas from some quarters to take more time and consider other sites, Cambridge councillors voted 6-3 in favour of moving ahead with plans to build a sports complex at Conestoga College.
Prior to Tuesday night’s vote, councillors had heard concerns that the $53-million sportsplex should be built at a more central location.
Citing those same concerns, Coun. Nick Ermeta was one of the votes against the approval.
“When you’re making a decision like this, you need to have options,” he told CTV News.
“I didn’t think we had enough to choose from.”
Ermeta suggested the city take a look at some of its brownfield sites, which would take more time and money to get ready for a sportsplex but could see the facility built closer to many Cambridge residents.
Coun. Frank Monteiro said the expense and delays made brownfield sights unfeasible.
“I would hate to lose this opportunity. Now is the time. Let’s move forward and have something we can be proud of,” he said.
Attention will now turn to exactly what to put in the facility. Early suggestions from the city were that it would be 150,000 square feet and feature ice rinks, a pool and a walking track.
Construction isn’t expected to begin until at least 2018.