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The sound of big machinery moving dirt is welcomed news in Tyne Valley.
Excavation work began on Monday for the community’s new events centre – a multi-purpose facility that will carry a price tag of close to $10 million. It will replace the Tyne Valley Community Sports Centre, which was destroyed by fire in late December 2019.
The groundwork is expected to be completed by mid-November.
"The first phase is we are digging out the old fill and replacing it and then the concrete footings will go in," said Tyne Valley Mayor Jeff Noye on Tuesday. "Then the steel structure will go up and we are hoping that will be done by the New Year, somewhere around there.
“The interior (work) will start right after that.”
The goal, Noye said, is to have the facility completed and open to host the Tyne Valley Oyster Festival in August 2021.
The site preparation has drawn lots of interest from community members. The new facility's location will be where the Tyne Valley Community Sports Centre stood.
Noye said he stopped by a couple of times on Monday and noted there were lots of interested spectators pulling into the parking lot to check things out.
One of those individuals was D’Arcy Ellis of Northam, who posted about it on Facebook and spoke with a Guardian repoter on Tuesday.
“It certainly gives a shot in the arm to the community,” said Ellis, who says the new facility will be the heart of the community. “It means a lot to me personally. I have a lot of great memories from that place (Community Sports Centre).
“I played hockey there growing up and participated in lots of Oyster Festival events and singing contests over the years. For us to have that facility for our minor hockey, figure skaters and, of course, our Oyster Festival in the summer, it means a lot to everybody in the area.
“We are on the track to getting ourselves a nice new facility.”
Noye praised the support offered by neighbouring communities, including Summerside, Evangeline, O’Leary, Alberton and Tignish, in accommodating Tyne Valley’s user groups.
“Every association that had an hour of ice time was, ‘Here you go,’” said Noye. “All of those communities were behind us and gave us a hand, so all our minor hockey teams have a place to play and figure skating has a place to go.
“We are spread all over Prince County, but we are playing.”
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