Residents here have a new home ice advantage with the opening of the new Mount Forest community Sportsplex Sept. 20.
To commemorate the move, dozens of community groups and Sports teams held a parade from the old arena to the new Sportsplex.
The project started with a dream and vision.
The reality came to life that afternoon with the passing of the torch from one facility to the next, as it was dedicated by the Mount Forest Royal Canadian Legion padre.
Wellington North Mayor Mike Broomhead, who traversed the parade route atop the zamboni, said the day was quite emotional. He said that 15 years ago when he served on Mount Forest’s council, there were talks of replacing the local area.
He added that a few years back, Wellington North council made the decision to do that and build the best facility it was able to.
Broomhead said numerous people and groups worked to make it possible, although he quipped that special mention should be made to councillor Ross Chaulk – “as finance chair, he has to figure out how to pay for it.”
The mayor added that councillor Dan Yake was instrumental in making the building happen as well.
But, Broomhead said, most importantly, he wanted to thank the citizens. “Because of you we have one of the best facilities anywhere.
Yake, who served as building committee chairman said he is proud of the new building and the work which has gone into it. “There was a lot of work, a lot of hours, a lot of conversations and a lot of disagreements.”
He said the process started almost five years ago, when he was asked to be chairman of a committee to look into the arena’s replacement.
“It’s certainly had its challenges, but it’s been an honour,” Yake said.
He cited the efforts of the dedicated and talented people who met the challenges to create the results apparent in the new facility.
Yake added that building committee members toured between 15 and 20 recreation facilities to determine what was needed locally. “But without these dedicated people we would not be here today.”