Renovations to Lake Banook’s canoe race tower hinge on hosting worlds

BY CBC NEWS CANADA

There’s no rush on renovations to the judging tower used to time canoe races at Dartmouth’s Lake Banook.

Funds to do the work needed to upgrade the facility will hinge on Dartmouth winning the right to host the 2022 ICF Canoe Sprint World Championships, the same event that was held there in 1997 and 2009.

“Any work we would do would really be dependent on us winning that bid. If that’s successful, then we would look to remodel the tower at that time,” said Paul Dean, flag officer with the Atlantic division of CanoeKayak Canada, the national body representing competitive paddling in Canada.

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To host a world championship, the tower would need to be changed to house new technology being used in international paddling events. That includes things like new electronic timers.

Tower built in 1988

Dean expects there will be grants available to help with the financing for the tower’s renovations should they need it.

The tower was built in 1988 for the World Junior Championships when Lake Echo paddler Steve Giles won a bronze medal.

It has gone through extensive repairs to replace corroding steel support beams. In 2016, it had its windows and roof upgraded after leaks caused mould to spread inside the structure.

Needs $250K of upgrades

Cost estimates to do the new renovation work were pegged at $250,000 in 2015. The plan is to remove the top level of the structure and the two bottom floors will be widened.

“You don’t need the same number of people in the tower that you used to,” said Dean. “The kind of space needed in the tower now is different from the time that one was built.”

The decision on who will host the worlds in 2022 is expected to be made next spring.

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