OSCA is holding a public meeting in Michael Jenkin Hall at the Firehall (260 Sunnyside Avenue) on Tuesday, November 26, 2019, between 7:00 and 8:30 p.m. to get your views and ideas on the future of the Fieldhouse at Windsor Park. We are also running an online survey.
We are looking to get your ideas and views
For a few years, the OSCA Board has discussed the potential of improving the facilities at Windsor Park. While Brewer Park is used a lot by our residents, it is primarily designed to serve a much wider catchment area than our community and caters to events and users from all over the city. Windsor Park, on the other hand, is our principal community park and is designed to serve Old Ottawa South with its wooded green space, tennis courts, wading pool, children play areas, outdoor ice rink and playing fields. The park contains a rather run-down fieldhouse near the entrance at Belmont Avenue which supports the wading pool activities in the summer. OSCA also uses the fieldhouse for events at the park, for storage and to support rink operations during the winter. The fieldhouse also serves as a changing room and includes two small washrooms.
While Windsor is a well-used and attractive park, few investments have been made in recent years. Further, with facilities in the community at capacity (e.g. Firehall, Hopewell School), or in the process of being reduced in size or closed (e.g. Southminster Church, St. Margaret Mary Church), the effective use of recreational space in our community is becoming a key issue. The fieldhouse presents an opportunity to expand community programming at Windsor Park, but in its current form and condition, it is not well suited to the task. The Fieldhouse is very small (about 1,000 sq. ft.) and poorly laid out to support indoor activities and outdoor events. The facility has no windows, poor indoor air quality and aesthetics, and is mostly known for providing minimal access to its dilapidated washrooms. The building is at least 50 years old and in need of significant life cycle investments.
What is OSCA Doing about the Problem:
OSCA has mandated the two of us, who are Board members, to explore potential options to improve the fieldhouse, to consult with City officials and to hold a public consultation to get your views on renewing the fieldhouse. Once this work is done, we will report to the OSCA Board to discuss whether the fieldhouse merits changes and new investments, and if so, what should they be. The Board will consider our recommendations early in January and decide on next steps and its role in pushing for changes and new investment.
Some Preliminary Options:
After consulting with City officials and examining the building, we came up with two potential options to improve the Fieldhouse and better support community programming at Windsor Park.
Renovating the Fieldhouse:This would be a renovation of the existing building on its current footprint. It could include: improving HVAC systems for indoor air quality and thermal comfort, renovating washrooms, retrofitting a kitchen with an external counter for catering, and adding exterior lighting and power outlets to support outdoor events.
Advantages: the renovations would extend the life of the building, make it better suited to play its current role and better support outdoor activities and community events at the Park.
Disadvantages: the modest footprint has no potential for indoor programming, layout constraints in the building limits effective use of the space, washrooms would remain difficult to access by the public because of their location; unknown structural or building envelope issues could lead to escalated costs, and while the renovation would improve support to outside events, there would be only a limited ability to support outdoor programming beyond its current level. Estimated Costs: $180,000 - 360,000
Rebuilding the Fieldhouse:This more ambitious option would entail demolishing the existing structure and building a new fieldhouse over the same site. However, a new fieldhouse could double the current footprint to about 2,000 sq. ft., provide better access and include expanded facilities such as: larger washrooms and changing areas, exterior storage facilities for outdoor programming and events, a large indoor activity room, a staff/community meeting room, and a commercial-grade kitchen with a servery for outside events.
Advantages: a new build can be designed to meet the specific needs of the community which could include: better access to washrooms and storage facilities, infrastructure to support outside events and programming, catering capabilities at the park, capacity to expand indoor programming all year round, and providing additional community meeting space. A new build also facilitates compliance with current safety and accessibility standards, energy efficiency objectives and provides better certainty over the potential costs involved.
Disadvantages: High cost. Cost: $880,000 - $1,600,000
Let us know what you think about this opportunity to improve programming capacity at Windsor Park at the meeting, or submit your views online if you can’t come on November 26 In the context that community spaces to conduct programming are at capacity or declining, we need to ensure that we use our existing facilities, such as Windsor Park, to the fullest. So, in addition to your views on a Fieldhouse renewal, we would also like to learn about the types of new indoor and outdoor programming you would like to see at Windsor Park. If you can’t come to the public meeting, please consider submitting your ideas online, and filling in our on-line survey form.