Wednesday, 7 October 2009

More on Ryerson Athletics at MLG

Maple Leaf Gardens project to cost $60M

From the Eyeopener, Ryerson's campus newspaper

The transformation of Maple Leaf Gardens into Ryerson's new athletic centre will cost $60 million if approved, the Eyeopener has learned.

Ryerson President Sheldon Levy announced at a Senate meeting on Oct. 6 that the Weston family and Loblaws are pledging $20 million to build the facility. That matches the amount the school committed after a student referendum passed last year.

"We still don't know the answer to the third leg of the story," Levy said.

Ryerson is still waiting to hear how much money they can score from the federal government.

"We're not really negotiating. It's like we're prodding," Levy said. "We're sitting on the edge."

Under the current renovation plans, the school would take residence in the top two levels of the three-storey building. A Loblaw supermarket will take up the entire main floor of the Gardens.

Ryerson's hockey team will play their games on the building's third floor under the historic rafters. The rink will be accompanied by championship sized volleyball and basketball courts.

The Gardens' second floor will house student facilities like a women's only gym, high performance centre and studios.

Former Toronto mayor and Maple Leaf Gardens advocate John Sewell doesn't think the building will lose its integrity if the ice isn't at its original level.

"I think the rink would be put right under the dome where it's traditionally been. The fact that it's up a floor or two, I don't think it matters at all," he said.

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