Derby Community Centre was constructed in approximately 1967, with an addition, forming the second-floor community space, added in 1976. The arena housed seasonal ice up until the mid 1980’s. The space is now available for community use and is routinely used by the Derby Pioneers every Monday. Other uses of the facility include Roller Derby which make use of the arena floor approximately weekly through the late spring and summer, and Owen Sound lacrosse who make use of the arena floor for a few weeks early in the spring for training, before moving to Shallow Lake (once ice is out) and then Owen Sound. The facility is currently under-utilized with less than 15 hours of programming a week on average.
Artificial turf is in high demand by several sports’ user groups, notably soccer, lacrosse, and baseball locally, but also field hockey, ultimate frisbee and other sports uses. Artificial turf is also commonly used by other community groups for a variety of activities including community events, youth and children’s camps and birthday parties. Artificial turf provides several benefits over natural turf, providing a consistent surface regardless of weather conditions, and a surface which is durable to use. Indoor artificial turf further extends these benefits by providing year-round accessibility. However, artificial turf is expensive to install, leading to higher hourly rates for use, or the need for subsidies. As a result of high user costs, private facilities are limited, and new built community-based facilities tend to be limited to high population centres.
Ontario Sport Development (OSD)
Ontario Sport Development (OSD) is an incorporated private company. OSD’s roots are in partnership with Brampton North Soccer with whom OSD has established indoor artificial and outdoor turf programs in several communities including Brampton, Mississauga, Alliston, Barrie and now Angus.
Given the high cost of new indoor artificial turf and the challenging business model to recoup initial outlay, OSD are looking for under-utilized facilities in communities where there is a desire for artificial turf, that could be re-purposed for artificial turf purposes. OSD have approached the Township in respect to Derby Community Centre with a proposal to assume operation of the Community Centre for a period of at least 10 years to support and service the community with an indoor artificial turf facility at rates which are attractive to local user groups.
OSD would assume the full operation of the Derby Community Centre, both the arena floor and community room. OSD have indicated that they would be willing to assume any and all agreements that the Township has with existing user groups and honour these throughout their operation of the centre assuming that such use is compatible with the artificial turf. OSD would be responsible for all operational costs, and staffing of the facility, and currently propose to have a full-time staff person employed at the site. OSD believe that at least 40 hours of programming a week can be generated on average at Derby. The Township would retain ownership and responsibility for capital costs associated with the building. OSD would invest in the installation of artificial turf and would look for the Township to partner on the costs of installing radiant heat heating to the arena to support year-round activity.
An annual lease with income of approximately $5,000 annually is anticipated.
The Township would need to contribute approximately $10,000 toward the installation of radiant heat. The 2023 budget included $375,000 for the modernization of municipally owned buildings, the Township’s portion of the costs for installing radiant heat could be funded from this.
Approximately $15,000 in annual floor and pioneer hall rental income would no longer be collected as revenue by the Township.
The Township currently donates $10,000 per year to the Derby Pioneers (equating to their rental fees each year) and it is anticipated that this support would continue to be requested from the Township to offset rental fees that would now be owed to OSD as operators of the Community Centre.
The Township currently allocates some facility staff resources to opening and closing the building and cleaning (building operations). This amounts to approximately 2 - 3 days a month; these resources would no longer be required. However, staff resources to ensure the appropriate management of the building would still be required.
The Township would commit to maintaining the building fabric for a period of no less than 10 years; as indicated, this is likely committing $1.5M. Staff believe that access to grants to support building infrastructure will be limited in nature without significant improvements to environmental performance and accessibility.