President's Report 2006 | Community

Pepsi Centre contract will build bridge

The Pepsi Centre in Corner Brook, seen here adjacent to Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, will now be operated as a separately incorporated entity of Memorial.

Memorial University of Newfoundland and the City of Corner Brook signed an agreement for the lease of the Pepsi Centre on March 23, 2006. The agreement was the culmination of eight months of negotiations between city and university officials. Memorial University assumed official responsibility for operating the facility on May 1, 2006 and will do so until the five-year lease is up for renewal on April 30, 2011.

"The City of Corner Brook views this partnership as an excellent opportunity for the entire community," said Mayor Charles Pender. "It is a win-win situation for both organizations as we both share a common vision for the growth and betterment of the facility and what it can provide to residents of Corner Brook and the region."

"It's one of our strategic directives to build bridges and foster our relationships with the community we serve," Dennis Waterman, director of Administration and Finance, said following the signing ceremony. "As operators of the Pepsi Centre, we'll bring the resources of the university with us; we hope to stabilize the delivery of services."

The total property, which includes the Pepsi Centre, Pepsi Studio Annex and adjacent parking areas, will be managed as a Separately Incorporated Entity (SIE) of Memorial University of Newfoundland. The Works, which encompasses the Field House and Aquarena in St. John's, is an example of a recreational facility that serves both the university and the public. It also operates under an SIE board. Appointments were made to the board of directors of the Western Sports and Entertainment Inc.on April 25, 2006.

The board of directors of the Pepsi Centre includes: six directors from Memorial University of Newfoundland, including five directors from Sir Wilfred Grenfell College (recommended by the SIE committee of the Board of Regents): Brian Colbourne, director, Financial and Administrative Services (St. John's campus); Dr. Rob Gallant, faculty member; Janice Galliot, wellness co-ordinator; Dr. Holly Pike, vice-principal; Mary Sparkes, co-ordinator, Student Affairs; and Dennis Waterman, director, Finance and Administration.

From left, Dr. John Ashton, Dr. Axel Meisen, Georgina Hedges, Charles Pender and Mike Dolter pose in front of the main ice surface at the Pepsi Centre while figure skaters practise in the background.

Other directors include: Jamie Schwartz, general manager of the Deer Lake Airport and community recreation volunteer (chair of the Pepsi Centre board and recommended by the City of Corner Brook and SWGC); Kent Brothers, lawyer and community recreation volunteer (recommended by City of Corner Brook and the SIE Committee); Richard Dennis, owner and general manager of Dennis GM (public nominee - recommended by SWGC); Wayne Ryan, director, Operational Services, City of Corner Brook (recommended by City of Corner Brook); Vic Simmonds, regional manager, Aliant Communications, and community volunteer (recommended by the Corner Brook Civic Centre Association); and Allan Skanes, educator and community leader (public nominee - recommended by SWGC).

Appointments to the board of directors of the Western Sports and Entertainment Inc. are for two- and three-year periods. Directors may be reappointed. The chair of the board has been appointed for three years.

"I am very pleased that the Pepsi Centre has a strong board of directors," said Dr. Georgina Hedges, acting chair of the university's Board of Regents. "In addition to extensive business experience, this broad selection of community, educational and business leaders has the skills and knowledge related to the recreation area and they are also particularly aware of the needs of both Corner Brook and Sir Wilfred Grenfell College and the province's western Newfoundland region. Having such a strong team in place to guide the Pepsi Centre's future will undoubtedly ensure the success of the initiative."