Construction began yesterday for a new $50.4-million sports facility in Gatineau.

Officials marked the beginning of work with a groundbreaking ceremony for the facility that helped lure Canada’s national men’s volleyball team to the city.

Located near de la Gappe and de la Cite boulevards, the centre will measure 17,600 square metres and features contemporary architecture. Decarel Inc. will lead the construction.


The total investment, including construction and equipment, is $50.4 million, with contributions of $10 million each from the provincial and federal governments. The site’s features include an eight-lane, 50-metre Olympic pool, diving towers and a 2,000-square-metre gymnasium.

“We will be able to accommodate teams and competitions of regional, national and international calibre,” said Gatineau Mayor Marc Bureau in French.

Last month, the Canadian men’s national volleyball team cited construction of the new centre as one of the main reasons it awarded Gatineau its national training centre for the next three years.

The project has important employment, economic and tourism spinoffs for the city and the area, said Benoit Pelletier, minister responsible for the Outaouais region.
The facility is slated to open in fall 2009.