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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette

Beacon Hill,
Cyrville Ward
Tim Tierney

(Posted 8 a.m., March 28)
Construction begins on Richcraft Sensplex East project

By Fred Sherwin
Orléans Online

Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson and Ottawa Senator Marc Methot were joined by hundreds of young hockey players and figure skaters for the ground-breaking ceremony of the new Richcraft sensplex on Shefford Road. File photo

Construction has begun on the Richcraft Sensplex East project which will create a brand new four ice pad recreation centre where the Potvin Arena now stands on Shefford Road near Canotek Park.

Dozens of hockey players, figure skaters, ringette players and long track speed skaters were on hand in the Potvin Arena parking lot on Tuesday to witness the ground-breaking ceremony for the new centre which will be called the Richcraft Sensplex after the city signed a naming rights deal with the developer.

The Sensplex is expected to open its doors in September 2014 which couldn't come soon enough for local parents and their young athletes who often have to drive up to 45 minutes for ice time. The four new ice pads will go a long way to meeting the demand for ice time in the east end which continues to grow year after year.

"We find ourselves driving all the way to Navan, driving all the way out to Grande Maitre in Vanier all the time and that just won't work," said Beacon Hill, Cyrville councillor and hockey coach Tim Tierney who spearheaded the effort to form a partnership with the private sector to speed up the project.

In this case the City has formed a public private partnership with Ottawa Community Ice Partners whose members include the Ottawa Senators Hockey Club and the Ottawa Senators Alumni.

It's an upgrade that has been a longtime coming for the aging Potvin Arena.

"Unfortunately, Tim's predecessors, you know, talked bout it but they weren't able to deliver, so I'm pretty pleased that we've been able to kick start this," said Mayor Jim Watson who was on hand for the ceremony along with Ottawa Senator Marc Methot.

"It's awesome, you can just see it on (the kids) faces they're pumped and I don't blame them, either. I know as a kid, growing up, you always want to get out there on the ice and this is an opportunity for all these kids out here and in the east end in particular," Methot said.

The rink will be large enough to host it's own tournaments, and will be the perfect compliment for the Ray Friel Centre which has three ice pads.

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

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