HALIFAX: The Nova Scotia Sport Hall of Fame will re-open with 33 per cent more square footage at a familiar location—in the Scotiabank Centre.
The hall was forced to close down in Sept. 2020 and pack its stuff and move it into storage or other locations after being unable to negotiate a lease with its landlord, Armco.
However, they have been able to come to terms with a new lease allowing for the redesign and revamp of its space. That space will see its square footage increase by 30 per cent and have a couple of open spaces filled in. Work on the new facility has already begun.
According to Bruce Rainnie, president and CEO of the N.S. Sport Hall of Fame, the redesign will provide more display space; allow it to become fully accessible with an improved entrance for those that may have mobility needs; and see the return of its collection of sports history in N.S. back to the site, home of the Halifax Mooseheads and Halifax Thunderbirds to name a couple.
Many dignitaries and sports celebrities from the Halifax area were on hand for the announcement.
Among those were Canadian Olympic hockey player Jill Saulniers’ parents; Mark Smith, softball coach; Gymnast Ellie Black; and Former Olympian Karen Furneaux, of Waverley, to name a few.
Furneaux was thrilled to hear the news, she told The Laker News.
“It’s fantastic news that the Sport Hall of Fame is coming back to Scotiabank Centre,” said Furneaux. “It’s in the heart of Halifax. It encompasses our whole province. “People will travel far and wide to see this amazing new Sport Hall of Fame.
“I can’t wait to see the process unfold.”
Rainnie said the new hall will be full of interactive technology. And one that is fun and has the kids yearning to go back time and time again.
“We plan to have a hall that’s fun for kids, full of interaction, full of technology,” he told the crowd inside The Lounge at Scotiabank Centre. “We will have a beautiful new theatre and board room. It’s going to be the envy of every sport hall in this country when all is said and done.
He said in the past couple of years the NSSHF has widened its reach in N.S. with satellite exhibits in Sydney, Truro, and Bridgetown. Other communities are expected to be added.
The exhibits offer an interactive experience using a free mobile app.
Rainnie said the Sports Hall of Fame committee members knew it wouldn’t be easy to get where they wanted to get too.
“We knew the finish line would be hard to get to – and we’re still not there,” said Rainnie. “but we’re at least in the race now and that makes us happy.”
Dr. Bill Stanish is the man leading the capital campaign for the hall of fame with the aim of raising all $4 million for the project.
Rainnie was cautious on setting a firm date for when it would open, only saying “sometime in 2023, but as soon as possible.”