Centennial Park

New public high school location revealed

By Ron Giofu

 

The location of the new public high school has finally been revealed.

The town will sell 15 acres of the southern portion of Centennial Park to the Greater Essex County District School Board for $2,457,000 with the town putting the proceeds into a parkland reserve. The town will retain 12 acres on the northern end of the park.

The new 819-student high school will house both General Amherst High School students and Western Secondary School students with the estimated opening date being Sept. 2020.

“Amherstburg is getting a single location, dual high school that will be state of the art,” said Mayor Aldo DiCarlo. “We’re ecstatic.”

Greater Essex County District School Board and town officials were pleased with the announcement that Centennial Park will house the new school to replace the current General Amherst and Western. From left: board chair Kim McKinley, CAO John Miceli, GECDSB director of education Erin Kelly, Mayor Aldo DiCarlo and Amherstburg/LaSalle trustee Ron LeClair.

DiCarlo said the location is close to the downtown area and keeps students close to downtown businesses. It also enables many students to continue to walk to school, he noted.

The mayor called it “incredible” news and gave his thanks to the school board officials.

(UPDATE – As for the fate of the pool, tennis courts and baseball diamonds, DiCarlo told the RTT Wednesday afternoon: “All of these amenities are being considered in the context of the parks master plan and where they will be located.”)

Erin Kelly, director of education with the Greater Essex County District School Board, said the board has selected an architect and will be moving forward with the design process. She believed they would be able to combine the two schools and meet the needs of all the students.

Kelly said they will try and get a shovel in the ground as soon as possible.

“There’s a lot of decisions to be made,” she noted.

CAO John Miceli said the town is “really excited” because of the fact the new school will provide additional opportunities for the municipality. Additional community use could arise with the new school and programming could be developed for after-school hours.

The Ontario government has already put $24.3-million towards the new public high school. As for the current building, Miceli indicated the town has its eyes on it and the board has its ears open for those plans.

“It’s in a strategic location in the Town of Amherstburg,” said Miceli. “The board is willing to listen.”

The CAO added: “There’s more to come.”

Miceli also thanked the public board’s administration for working with the town to arrive at the agreement.

Ron LeClair, trustee for Amherstburg and LaSalle, indicated there are opportunities for co-operative education that will be within walking distance for students.

“This is wonderful news for the board and the Town of Amherstburg,” he said. “This is a win-win for the board and the town.”

While admitting “I can’t wait to get a shovel in the ground,” LeClair also said they have to complete the design phase first.

Councillor Leo Meloche noted the importance of the school to the community, and said parents and students alike appreciate the effort. Councillor Diane Pouget also offered praise to the public board for working with the town.

“It’s a special spot for many of us,” she said.

Pouget added there is work being done that would eventually allow for over 1,700 building lots to be created in town, but Kelly noted they have to build based on the students they currently have. If an addition were needed in the future, the board could seek further funding from the province, she suggested.

Councillor Rick Fryer said the new school’s inclusion of skilled trades for students is important and called it “an excellent idea.”

The announcement to sell 15 of the 27 acres in Centennial Park to the public board was met with applause by those in attendance at Monday night’s meeting.

Jr. Bulldogs show heart in season-ending loss

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs junior football team may not have won a game this season, but the coaches still saw progress this season.

The Bulldogs lost to the Sandwich Sabres 34-10 last Tuesday afternoon at Centennial Park to finish the 2017 WECSSAA junior football season 0-6. The Sabres did all of their scoring in the first half and led 34-3. General Amherst took some pride in winning the second half, as they outscored Sandwich 7-0.

Austin Farmer (22, left) outruns a pair of Sandwich defenders during a run in the second half Oct. 31 at Centennial Park.

The Sabres started quick with a 60-yard touchdown run on the first play from scrimmage. After recovering the ensuing onside kick, Sandwich scored again on a 32-yard touchdown pass to go up 14-0.

The Sabres scored three touchdowns in the second quarter thanks to a 39-yard run, a 13-yard run and a 22-yard pass with a fourth touchdown called back on a penalty. The Sabres also had another major called back due to a penalty in the third quarter.

Will Jones booted a 30-yard field goal for the Bulldogs in the second quarter with Anthony McCarthy scoring from a yard out in the fourth quarter. The latter touchdown was set up thanks to strong running from Austin Farmer on that drive.

Preston Muzzin (84) makes a catch in the first half of General Amherst’s Oct. 31 game versus Sandwich. The Sabres won 34-10.

Quarterback Emmitt Rosati missed the game due to his lingering ankle injury.

“We started a lot of Grade 9’s to give them experience,” said General Amherst head coach Dino Rosati. “They did well.”

The Bulldogs knew they were out of the playoffs, Rosati added, as they had to win the previous week’s game versus Catholic Central to have a shot. Despite being eliminated from playoff contention, Rosati said Amherst still played hard.

“They played right until the end,” he said.

Members of the senior team helped with the coaching, he added, with Emmitt also helping to coach as he called the plays on offense.

General Amherst quarterback Nolan Crain (82) throws a pass during General Amherst’s loss to the Sandwich Sabres Oct. 31 at Centennial Park.

Rosati said about 12-14 players are eligible to return next season. The junior Bulldogs featured a lot of Grade 9 players that were new to football this season.

“I think we learned a lot,” said Rosati. “We had a good number of inexperienced Grade 9’s.”

With a year of football under their belts, Rosati said the Bulldogs have a “good chance to be successful” next season.

Local house league baseball teams converge on Amherstburg

 

 

By RTT Staff

 

House league baseball teams from around Essex County and Windsor converged on Amherstburg for a weekend tournament earlier this month.

The wrap-up tournament saw eight teams in the pee wee division with teams coming from Kingsville, Forest Glade, Turtle Club (LaSalle), Leamington, Belle River, Tecumseh, Windsor Central and Riverside. That division played primarily at Centennial Park.

Amherstburg was represented in the bantam tournament held recently at the Libro Centre. (Back row): coaches Rob Faraday, Mike Bergeron , players Ed Laroye, Kain McDonald, Coach Brian McDonald, players Nolan Crain, Andrew Pickle, Andy Beneteau, head coach Dave Wharram. Bottom row: Jake Hamilton , Jacob Kelterborn, Matthew Pickle, Devon D'Alimonte, Ryan (Buzz) Wharram. Laying in front is Josh Bergeron. (Special to the RTT)

Amherstburg was represented in the bantam tournament held recently at the Libro Centre. (Back row): coaches Rob Faraday, Mike Bergeron , players Ed Laroye, Kain McDonald, Coach Brian McDonald, players Nolan Crain, Andrew Pickle, Andy Beneteau, head coach Dave Wharram. Bottom row: Jake Hamilton , Jacob Kelterborn, Matthew Pickle, Devon D’Alimonte, Ryan (Buzz) Wharram. Laying in front is Josh Bergeron. Frankie Jariett is absent. (Special to the RTT)

The bantam division saw five teams compete. Action was mainly at the Libro Centre, though one game was at Centennial Park. Teams from Amherstburg, Turtle Club, Riverside, Windsor South and Forest Glade took to the field with Amherstburg being eliminated with a 15-5 loss Saturday night to Forest Glade.

This was the second straight tournament in Amherstburg in successive weekends, with the South Shore Interlock Tournament the previous weekend for the pee wee players. That was at Centennial Park.

Ed Laroye pitches to the plate  during the recent bantam  tournament held in Amherstburg. Most of the games in the bantam division were at the Libro Centre while pee wee teams  competed at Centennial Park.

Ed Laroye pitches to the plate during the recent bantam tournament held in Amherstburg. Most of the games in the bantam division were at the Libro Centre while pee wee teams competed at Centennial Park.

“This team being put together in a very short period of time to represent Amherstburg in the tourney we were hosting. This team really worked hard and although didn’t make the finals on Sunday we still walked away winners. I couldn’t be more proud of the dedication these 12 guys showed the past month or so while preparing for this tournament,” said bantam head coach Dave Wharram.

Canuck It Up shuttle bus location changed

There has been a change to a shuttle bus location for the Canuck It Up Festival coming Aug. 5-6.

The town has switched one of the locations from the Libro Centre to Centennial Park. As there is ongoing construction on the Meloche Road project, town officials have decided to switch that location and have people picked up at Centennial Park if they want to take a shuttle bus to the downtown festival.

Canuck It Up logo

The second location remains at the former Honeywell property.

Admission to the festival is free. A canned good or non-perishable food item will accepted at the gate for the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission.

For more on the Canuck It Up Festival lineup, visit www.amherstburg.ca/canuckitup or www.facebook.com/Amherstburg Connection.

Fort Malden National Historic Site is also presenting its Raiders, Rebels and Redcoats event that same weekend.

Amherstburg Rotary Ribfest draws over 13,500 people

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The eighth annual Amherstburg Rotary Ribfest was held over the weekend with a strong crowd of 13,513 people in attendance.

The three-day event took place in Centennial Park with four ribbers – Ribs Royale, Memphis Blazin’ BBQ, Dinosaur BBQ Pit and Texas Rangers – and a variety of craft vendors, children’s activities and other food and drink vendors participating.

People line up for ribs at the eighth annual Amherstburg Rotary Ribfest. The event was July 7-9 at Centennial Park.

People line up for ribs at the eighth annual Amherstburg Rotary Ribfest. The event was July 7-9 at Centennial Park.

“Except for Friday night when we had to evacuate everyone for safety reasons (due to a storm), it’s been a great weekend,” said Carl Gibb, an Amherstburg Rotarian and chair of the Rotary’s Ribfest committee. “The support from the community, as always, has been fantastic.”

Gibb noted the variety of food and crafts and “everyone seems happy.”

“Overall, it was a great weekend,” added Amherstburg Rotary Club president Laura George. “The attendees we had came and enjoyed the ribs. We definitely thank everyone for coming out because without them, the Rotary Club and Ribfest committee couldn’t have pulled off this weekend.”

Gibb and George thanked the committee, the volunteers, sponsors and all who participated in the three-day event. They also thanked the town of Amherstburg for waiving the fees to use Centennial Park and the equipment and for relaxing restrictions on the sign bylaw to help them promote the Ribfest.

People line up for ribs at the eighth annual Amherstburg Rotary Ribfest. The event was July 7-9 at Centennial Park.

People line up for ribs at the eighth annual Amherstburg Rotary Ribfest. The event was July 7-9 at Centennial Park.

“It’s nice to know that, in the end, they know the value of what this festival brings to town and that they know the work of the Rotary Club,” said George.

The Ribfest was up against two other events in the area – including the Fork & Cork in Windsor and the Essex Fun Fest – but the Amherstburg event still managed to draw a strong crowd.

“It says a lot about the town of Amherstburg,” said George.

People line up for ribs at the eighth annual Amherstburg Rotary Ribfest. The event was July 7-9 at Centennial Park.

People line up for ribs at the eighth annual Amherstburg Rotary Ribfest. The event was July 7-9 at Centennial Park.

George acknowledged the break-in that occurred to the grounds early Saturday morning that saw items stolen from several vendors. She said they are working with the Amherstburg Police Service to resolve the matter and extra security was brought on board for the next night.

Gibb pointed out they put all proceeds back into the Amherstburg community. He noted such Rotary projects as the fully accessible playground at Toddy Jones Park, the Miracle League field at the Libro Centre and the acquisition of 600 carbon monoxide detectors that will go into those in the homes of vulnerable residents. The latter project is in conjunction with Amherstburg Community Services (ACS) and the Amherstburg Fire Department.

The Memphis Blazin’ BBQ was the only ribber that hadn’t been to Amherstburg before but they liked what they saw.

The band Moondog Howlers perform Saturday night at the Amherstburg Rotary Ribfest.

The band Moondog Howlers perform Saturday night at the Amherstburg Rotary Ribfest.

“I’m loving it,” said Matthew Kershaw, as he prepared ribs Friday night. “This town is awesome.”

Those who attended enjoyed it as well, with people from Windsor-Essex County and beyond coming to Amherstburg.

“It was nice. I enjoyed it,” said Bernadette Kuzniak of Belle River. “The ribs were good and so was the sauce.

Kuzniak attended with her husband Norm and it was their first time to the Amherstburg Rotary Ribfest after moving back to the area from Waterloo.

“The music is not too bad,” added Norm.

Amherstburg fire chief Bruce Montone sinks  his teeth into some of the ribs during judging held July 9.

Amherstburg fire chief Bruce Montone sinks his teeth into some of the ribs during judging held July 9.

Kevin Girard and Kait Fox of Tecumseh also enjoyed themselves.

“We love it,” said Girard. “Our stomachs are full and our fingers are sticky.”
Fox added they were at the Ribfest several years ago and said they plan on coming back.

The Ribfest also drew people from a family reunion, including those from Sugar Grove, Illinois and Jackson, Mississippi.

Arthur Davis, from Jackson, said they stopped in as they were driving back to the United States and wanted to try the Ribfest. Sharon Phillips added they found people in town to be “very friendly” and they gave the experience “two thumbs up.”

“It’s been a beautiful experience,” she said.