Town moving forward with regional recreation facility plans

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The Town of Stony Plain is moving forward with its plans to develop a regional recreational facility.

During the Apr. 26 regular council meeting, council members approved proceeding to the detailed design of Phase One of a recreation facility to be located on the Glenn Hall Arena site in Old Town South. The design will focus on a capital project budget of up to $15 million.

“Recreation facilities play an important role in strengthening a community’s social fabric. They are an important community hub that offers sport development, community programs, and networking engagement. This facility will complement the existing inventory of facilities in the region that continue to meet our resident’s needs,” said Karl Hill, General Manager of Community and Protective Services.

The development of a recreational facility in Stony Plain has been a strategic priority since 2017 when the Indoor Recreation Facility Strategy for the Tri-Municipal Region was completed by the Town and its regional partners. In 2019, administration presented council with conceptual designs for a three-phase recreation campus in Old Town South. The goal of the proposed facility is to provide area residents with the greatest diversity of program opportunities while remaining financially achievable.

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Phase One of the facility will include a gymnasium to accommodate racquet and sports courts (volleyball, basketball), a multipurpose community space (arts, yoga, dance/performance), a fitness centre (weights, cardio equipment), and a running track. Phase Two will consist of an aquatic centre and Phase Three will mark the addition of an arena. The three phases are expected to be completed with 12-14 years of separation between each. The Town said user demand and community growth will dictate timing decisions. In total, all three phases are projected to cost $93 million.

“I am so excited about this project. I think that for many reasons it checks so many boxes on our strategic plans and where we want to see Stony Plain in the future,” said Coun. Judy Bennett.

The Town is currently weighing its options with regards to how it will construct Phase One. Earlier this year, administration presented council with a non-traditional design approach for the facility. The concept was based on a similar project in Martensville, SK, called the Martensville Athletic Pavillion. Completed in 2014, with a project budget of $10 million, the facility was constructed using a combination of traditional and tensioned membrane construction. Also known as “sprung” construction, tensioned membrane structures are thin-shell structures most often associated with sporting facilities, storage buildings, and exhibition venues.

Administration will provide council with regular updates as project development proceeds. Design work for Phase One is slated to be completed by mid-2022.

“Having a recreation centre in our community will encourage growth and development while simultaneously meeting our own resident needs. This is an incredibly exciting project for Stony Plain, and I am looking forward to seeing it come together in the years ahead,” said Mayor William Choy.

rhowell@postmedia.com

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