Rick Chiarelli, Martha Peak, Deijanelle Simon and Cheryl Jensen break ground for the new ARC building. The ceremony happened outside Student Commons on April 9. Photo credit: Emily Britton

Four gold shovels dug into snow-covered ground April 9, officially breaking ground for the Students’ Association’s new Athletics and Recreation Complex building.

College ward city councillor Rick Chiarelli, SA athletic administrator Martha Peak, SA president Deijanelle Simon and president Cheryl Jensen took part in the ceremony.

It was held on the front lawn outside the Student Commons at 11:30 a.m. The ceremony marked the official beginning for building the ARC that is now slated to open July 2021.

After they broke ground, Chiarelli, Simon and Jensen went inside Student Commons to talk about the benefits the building will be have to the community and to the school. They also looked over architectural drawings, the features that will be included and how it’s being paid for, for the first time to the public.

Jensen admires the student success that she sees at Algonquin and that the new building is the perfect next step in the college’s journey as all students can hone their health in a personalized way.

“Our learners will continue to grow in an environment that truly turns hopes and dreams into lifelong success,” Jensen said.

The president also hinted that the ARC will be a launchpad for another new building.

Jensen said that this project will be “the best in the country” as the project management team – Collier Project Leaders – will have a part in the building, as they’ve already demonstrated the quality work they’ve done with the DARE building.

“I’m super excited (that) we had an incredible turnout. It was really nice, and the fact that it’s the last really big building I get to do, and Cheryl was here for the ground-breaking. It’s been fantastic,” SA president Simon said. “I’m excited that everyone else is feeling our excitement.”

Construction will start in May once most students are done school due to the noise it will create. The SA is finalizing plans with the architect, construction and project management.

“I think it’s great for people who live in the area and go to school here to have a place to go that takes advantage of their need for gym activity and at the same time, socialize,” Chiarelli said.

To learn more about the new complex, read a previous article here: https://algonquintimes.com/news/free-access-to-fitness-recreation-with-new-arc-100000-square-foot-building/