Grey Highlands council had given a preliminary thumbs up to convert a storage area at the Osprey arena in Feversham into temporary changerooms in order to accommodate girls hockey.

At its meeting on May 17, council received a delegation from Osprey Recreational Centre Board representative Lesley Priddle regarding the changeroom situation at the arena.

Priddle said the popularity of girls’ hockey continues to grow and the four changerooms at the arena are not enough to accommodate the current needs.

“This is an accessibility issue and has been a very real problem this past season,” said Priddle. “We need your support to renovate a storage area in our arena in order to create an additional changeroom for our girls that play for Osprey minor hockey and the girls on visiting teams.”

The added changerooms would be used by the girls who are playing on mixed teams so they don’t have to use the same changeroom as the boys on their team.

Priddle said the problem is particularly acute when there are back-to-back games at the arena, which creates the situation of two teams getting ready in two changerooms and two teams coming off the ice to two changerooms.

The board met with Grey Highlands staff in March to discuss the situation and at that time identified a storage room, adjacent to the ice resurfacer room that could be converted to temporary changeroom space to help alleviate the situation. Priddle said eventually the board will be looking to construct an addition at the arena to add permanent changeroom facilities.

“We expect growth in our numbers. We must be able to accommodate girls,” said Priddle.

The board hopes it is able to recruit volunteer time and materials to assist with the project.

Following Priddle’s presentation, council unanimously passed a resolution directing staff to proceed with the clean-up of the storage room and requested a report that will outline funding and more details of the project.

“This is a real need,” commented Coun. Nadia Dubyk.

Staff will report back to council in a few weeks with options for moving forward with the project.

“Get your volunteers lined up and get your hammers going,” Mayor Paul McQueen said after council approved the resolution.

By Chris Fell, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on May 23, 2023 at 15:00

This item reprinted with permission from   Collingwood, Ontario
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