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Construction starts on $46-million Active Living Centre at U of M

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WINNIPEG — Forget the shovels; the University of Manitoba put jackhammers in the ground today to start the construction of its new $46-million Active Living Centre.

The four-storey, open-concept, glass-exterior design will be 100,000 square feet encompassing a new high-performance training facility for elite athletes, a state-of-the-art indoor 200-metre running track, a 12-metre climbing wall as well as an Applied Research Centre, a workout, strength and conditioning facility and a gathering area for students.

The eco-friendly centre is being funded by three levels of government, including a $2.5 million contribution from the City of Winnipeg that will come from its sale of the Polo Park stadium site.

The project is in lock-step with the construction of the new Investors Group Field across the street — part of the federal government funding for the new stadium included an active-living/recreational component — and is expected to be completed in 2015.

Today’s ground-breaking ceremony included U of M president and vice-chancellor Dr. David Barnard, Manitoba Premier Greg Sellinger, Canada Minister of State (Transport) and Charleswood-St. James MP Steven Fletcher, Winnipeg mayor Sam Katz, Dean of Kinesiology and Recreation Management Jane Watkinson and former U of M Bison and Chicago Bears end Israel Idonije.

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