With the Pan Am Games starting at the end of the week and the Parapan Am Games in August, OSPE and the PEO Oakville Chapter were thrilled to come together to offer an exclusive technical tour of the Milton Velodrome to our members.
Through a 40-minute tour expertly led by the engineers who helped build the facility – Benjamin Alves, P.Eng., and Kasra Banis from Kenaidan Contracting Ltd. – attendees learned about the uniqueness of the 250-metre timber track, designed to meet the most stringent requirements set by the International Cycling Union. The unique Velodrome took four years to build at a cost of $56 million.
Following the technical tour, a dynamic group of panelists discussed the impact of this innovative facility on the town of Milton, Canada’s athletes, and future infrastructure projects in the province.
Guiding the discussion and Q&A period was Omar Alghabra, P.Eng., Distinguished Visiting Fellow at Ryerson University’s Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science. Panelists included:
- Councillor Mike Cluett from the Town of Milton, who noted that the Velodrome was initially going to be built in Hamilton
- Because the Town had difficulty raising funds on their own, Cluett explained that Milton City Council reached out to the private sector for funding, calling it a “great example” of a private-public partnership
- Councillor Zeeshan Hamid on behalf of Mayor Gordon Krantz, who explained that prior to the construction of the Velodrome, the Town of Milton held an information session where they received feedback from residents
- A key concern was ensuring that the facility wasn’t just for cycling but a multi-use facility for the community long after the Games
- Hamid pointed out that the facility only cost tax payers around $100,000 thanks to funds from the federal government, Cycling Canada, and development charges, among others
- David Kirkland, P.Eng., Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Kenaidan Contracting Ltd., who outlined that the ice storm of 2013 delayed construction by 5 months
- David added that the cycling facility was just one aspect of this project and the actual site of the facility was also a challenge
- Mike Patton, Team Physiologist for Cycling Canada, explained that his role involved helping coaches develop Olympic athletes
- Patton commented that one of the facility’s unique features is the fact that it’s indoors. It is also the sole facility of its kind in Canada and only the second that meets top international standards in North America
- Patton added that without a facility like Milton’s Velodrome, athletes would have to go to Los Angeles to train. The Velodrome will help Canada’s cycling team put down roots in Ontario. The facility, as Patton explained, is of great benefit to Canadian athletes and, possibly in the future, international, elite calibre athletes.
Thank you to everyone who came out to celebrate engineering in sport!
Are you attending an event at the Pan Am or Parapan Am Games? Click here to buy tickets.