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Athletics: New Inflatable Multisport Structure at Louis-Riel Public Secondary School

Ottawa (November 5, 2003) - In September 2004, École secondaire publique Louis-Riel will have one of the most modern sports infrastructures in the region. The Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario (CEPEO: Eastern Ontario Public School Board) has announced that it will install an inflatable multisport structure at the school, thereby enabling students to play a variety of sports throughout the winter months, including soccer, football, field hockey as well as track and field events.

The structure, which will be installed on school grounds, will measure 660 feet long, 240 feet wide and 71 feet high, the equivalent of 12 regulation sized gymnasiums. It will also house a 400 meter track that complies with national competition standards-the only one of its kind in Canada!

"We wanted to give the school a new sports facility, something it has needed for quite some time, especially since the integration of the grades 7th and 8th," said school board Chairman Denis M. Chartrand. "We are very pleased to provide our students with a unique structure that will not only meet their needs, but offer them a unique opportunity to practice sports year-round. In addition, this project will be entirely self-financed through a partnership with the Ottawa Lions Track and Field Club," he added.

The Club, a not-for-profit organization, will operate the inflatable structure, meaning sporting activities offered at the inflatable structure will be open to the public. The proceeds from rental of the facility will be re-invested in Louis-Riel. "I think that the partnership we have established with the CEPEO is a model worth emulating. Students and the community will be given access to a host of quality sports programs on an ongoing basis," said Ottawa Lions Track and Field Club President Colin Timm.

"Students and staff at Louis-Riel are hailing the installation of this new structure," added the school's principal, Nicole Davidson. "It will enable us to increase the number of courses and time devoted to physical education, plus it will allow students to take part in a wide range of intramural and extracurricular activities."

The inflatable multisport structure will be outfitted with high-quality artificial turf that is easy to maintain and safe for users. The CEPEO plans to start installing the structure early in the summer of 2004.

The Conseil des écoles publiques de l'Est de l'Ontario (CEPEO) serves more than 11,000 students. It administers 36 elementary and secondary school across Eastern Ontario.

Lucie Boileau, Communications Director, said in an interview that the Board expects to recoup the building cost within 5-6 years.

Lions president, Colin Timm, stated that the Lions will be contributing $500,000 over the initial 15 year management contract. The size of the facility will allow for multiple activities to be ongoing in the infield without impacting training on the 400M track. While details regarding usage are to be worked out it is the intent to maximize use of the dome by the community.

For information on the Ottawa Lions Track Club visit their website at: www.ottawalions.com.


This has to be a great way to extend the season in Canada. I've never played in one, are these bubbles good to play in (outside of turf issues) or does the ceiling come into play too often?

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