Barrie Curling Club faces large fundraising challenge after leak found in building

In September 2018, officials at the Barrie Curling Club came across an unfortunate discovery in their building on Essa Road.

Around 300 litres of a refrigerant used in the facility called brine had leaked.

Ice technicians have determined the leak is occurring underneath the club’s ice pad in the piping beneath the concrete floor.

The club, which has been operating out of the building for 65 years, has been told that in order to rectify the issue, the ice pad needs to be replaced.

The repair carries a price tag between $350,000 and $400,000 — and the club must come up with the money quickly if it wants to ensure next season won’t be impacted by the repairs.

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In order for repairs to be completed over the summer before next season, funds must be secured by February.

“Our objective is to not miss any curling,” Chris Hauschild, vice-president and capital fundraising director of the Barrie Curling Club told Global News. “Our objective is to get back to curling at the end of September.”

Members of the Barrie Curling Club have been hard at work fundraising, and according to Hauschild, the club has already managed to save over $100,000.

On Saturday, the club is hosting a men’s bonspiel in order to help raise funds for the club. Hauschild says the club is hoping the event will raise around $4,000.

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The club is also looking to sell the naming rights for the building in order to help raise the remaining money.

“We are unique in terms that it’s an open-access club,” Hauschild said. “You can see it from Essa Road, obviously, but you can see it from the highway for over a minute coming from the south end, even with the new on-ramp.”

According to Hauschild, the club is hoping for a 10-year deal. Other clubs, he says, have received around $25,000 a year for the naming rights to their buildings.

Beyond offering a venue for athletes to curl, Hauschild also says the club is an important social space for many in the community.

“The club is a reflection, in many ways, of the community,” Hauschild said. “We’ve got people in the club who are aged from five to 90 and we bring activity to a lot of people.”

For the adults and seniors at the club, the facility offers a place to socialize and stay active.

“For all adults, if you’re curling once, twice or even three times a week, you’re out of the house and you’re active,” he said.

As for young people, Hauschild says curling teaches important life skills such as teamwork.

“We see people that come out of their shell from youth curling. You know, it’s a different sport, it’s a sport that some people really excel at,” he said. “And one of the nice things is that they learn skills at a very early age. They become active at an early age and learn about teamwork.”

According to Hauschild, the club now has 660 members — more than it has had in years.

Anyone interested in donating can visit the Barrie Curling Club website for more information.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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