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Talks continue on event grounds in Charlottetown

Sandy MacDonald, Holland College president
Sandy MacDonald, Holland College president - SaltWire File Photo

Holland College says process has slowed since election of new provincial government

Holland College is still talking to the province over its interest in acquiring the Charlottetown Event Grounds.

There were about a dozen meetings between officials with the college and the former Wade MacLauchlan Liberal government.

Sandy MacDonald, president of the college, said things have understandably slowed a bit since the election as Premier Dennis King and the new Tory administration get their feet underneath them.

The college is also talking to various other players, such as the City of Charlottetown, Charlottetown Area Development Corporation, which currently owns the property, the Downtown Business Association, the P.E.I. Shellfish Association and officials with the Jack Frost Winterfest.

Eastlink Centre, which has managed the site since 2013, also wants to be involved in the process. It has questions over the ability to host concerts on the property in the future.

“We’re in the middle of setting up a meeting with the groups we met with (before),’’ MacDonald said.

That meeting will involve drawings the college wants to show of what the property will look like and a description of how it wants to run things.

MacDonald said once all of those players are happy with things, the college will approach the province.

And, once that happens a public meeting will be scheduled.

Even though the college wants to purchase the property, the shellfish festival and Jack Frost Winterfest would still be welcome to use the land.

“We’re working very hard with the shellfish (association) and with Jack Frost and the city ... to find a solution where everybody is happy with what we can come up with,’’ MacDonald said in an earlier interview. “We want to make sure it will be available for (other) events in the future as well.’’

The college has no plans to turn any part of the event grounds into a parking lot.

Holland College’s primary interest in the property is using the green space as a playing/practice field for its athletes, one that can accommodate soccer and football.

MacDonald said with a new government in place the process will take a little longer than originally thought.

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