The Tom Bredin Athletic Centre, which includes the Reimer Gymnasium, the Riley Fitness Centre and our arena, is the envy of many schools across Canada and beyond. In 2017, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the opening of Dutton Memorial Arena. At around the same time we concluded a facilities review where we established that our ice arena requires significant structural work and maintenance. With an urgent need for remedial work identified, the Board of Governors created a Task Force to explore the options that would enable us to rejuvenate Dutton Memorial Arena and further enhance our athletic offering.
We are close to completing a plan that revitalizes our Athletic Centre. The core elements of the project are the refurbishment of the arena to include a reconfigured NHL-sized rink, five new changing rooms, a new ice plant and significant structural upgrades to the building envelope that will ensure the future of the arena for another 50 years. A spectator viewing area, situated above the new changing rooms, will provide a superb view of athletes while they train or represent the SJR Eagles. A new expanded entrance to the building will replace the silo and provide upgraded access to the entire athletics complex, including an elevator and new canteen and storage facilities.
As well as providing a much-improved ice facility in fall and winter, the upgrades will drastically increase the numbers of students who benefit from the facility all year round. The arena will continue to be used as a hockey rink from September to March. In an exciting new development, for the remainder of the year it will be converted to a field house with artificial turf replacing the ice surface and will serve as a multi-purpose indoor facility for all SJR students. As a result, we will be able to play soccer, rugby and Ultimate and enjoy a wide variety of track and field events as well as other sports. This outstanding new indoor facility will prove particularly invaluable to our community in the spring. We can continue with our Physical Education and Athletics program when the weather is inclement, or if our fields are flooded. Hundreds of students, all playing different sports, will benefit. The new arena will have an expanded capacity that will enable us to host indoor events for up to 1,000 people during the spring and summer.
Another addition to the Athletic Centre will be new changing rooms at the opposite end of the gymnasium for SJR’s basketball and volleyball teams. This will allow us to reconfigure and refurbish the existing changing rooms between the gym and the Riley Fitness Centre. They will be redesigned to provide direct entry to the Fitness Centre, which means we can offer members of the wider SJR community access to this facility outside of school hours.
The Government of Canada recommends that children and youth age 5 to 17 should get at least 60 minutes of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity per day. Currently only 37.6% of this target group meets the recommendation. As one of our four mission pillars, active healthy living is an integral part of our offering. By enhancing our athletic facilities, we help improve the physical and mental health of future generations of SJR students. By encouraging our students to take part in team sports, we create friendship, camaraderie and leadership opportunities that allow them to develop lifelong relationships with their peers. By converting the arena into a year-round facility, we widen its scope and make it inclusive and available to all.
Head of School