In the January 2021 edition of The OSCAR, the OSCA Fieldhouse Working Group reported on progress with the proposed design and location of the Windsor Park Fieldhouse. Since the publication of the article Councillor Shawn Menard and OSCA met with local residents at Windsor Park. This meeting was ad hoc and in response to concerns expressed by residents about the proposed location and design of the Fieldhouse. Several of the issues raised are as follows:
- The location of the existing 60-year-old Fieldhouse, which is where the Working Group wanted to locate the new Fieldhouse, was discovered to be on the Rideau River floodplain. The Rideau Valley Conservation Authority (RVCA) is reluctant to approve any new construction on floodplain. As a compromise, City officials proposed a new site outside the floodplain. This site is identified in the January edition of The OSCAR.
- The design proposal for the new fieldhouse was based on an 18-month consultation process seeking the community’s views on what facilities and programming activities a new fieldhouse should support.
- After reading The OSCAR article and outlining the proposed location on the park ground, a number of local residents expressed significant concerns about its location and size, its potential impact on greenspace and trees, and the impact of access requirements to the site from park entrances.
- After listening to residents’ concerns and the background of the proposal’s evolution provided by two OSCA committee members, Councillor Shawn Menard advised that he would meet with the RVCA and the City’s Recreation, Cultural and Facilities Services Department to see if some alternate solution is possible.
- The proposed new Fieldhouse location as reported in the January issue of the OSCAR was selected by the City, not by the OSCA Fieldhouse Working Group.
Following this exchange with residents and Councillor Shawn Menard, the OSCA Working Group agrees that the location selected by the City and the size of the facility has significant drawbacks. As a result, the OSCA Working Group will not proceed with the proposed survey as outlined in the January 2021 issue of The OSCAR and will engage in further design development and community consultations once the Councillor has completed his consultations with officials and there is greater clarity about location opportunities for a new fieldhouse.
The OSCA Working Group will continue to keep the community updated as we learn more about where and how, a new fieldhouse might be accommodated at Windsor Park.