In the late fall, the Westbrook Dome plans came to a standstill and the indoor soccer communities were left with few options for leagues and were forced to go out and rent gyms from schools, churches, and other organizations to try to get some playing time in. This left a lot of people disappointed and wondering what might be the state of the indoor game in Kingston in the fall of 2012.
In a recent story in the Whig-Standard, Nadine Partridge, manager of the city's recreation programs, stated that they were uncertain as to the specific plans with the Westbrook group were. According to a report tabled at City Council meeting shortly before Christmas, construction on the proposed Westbrook facility will not begin until at least May 2012 as it will take at least that much time for a zoning amendment application, delivered in November, to be approved. A public meeting to discuss that application is scheduled for January 19, 2012.
With that in mind and the realization that the development of the Caton's 1 field (that with lights) into an artificial turf field would not be feasible, the City has begun looking into plans to build a turf field at the John Machin Park on Innovation Drive. This turf field would have a special foundation built at the same time as the field, one with special anchors that could accommodate an inflatable dome structure, similar to the old Quarry Sportsplex dome. The facility already has sufficient power and water available, which would minimize the costs involved.
The City is planning on doing consultations with residents of the area beginning mid-January and continuing through to the end of March, with hopes to begin construction in the Spring. There are already plans to expand the facility, which currently houses four standard fields and four mini-fields. The current plans are to expand two of the standard fields to full international size, and convert one of them to artificial turf.
Update: The public meeting for the Westbrook zoning is now being publicized more heavily. The meeting begins at 6:30pm on Thursday January 19th at the Kingston City Hall Council Chambers (216 Ontario Street). During this meeting, the owners of the Westbrook Golf Club, Anita and Ken Harnden, will be seeking a zoning by-law amendment to permit the construction of a dome and associated structure (lobby, change rooms, etc). The owners will be present and have indicated that support from the local soccer players and/or their clubs would be welcome.