Red Deer’s northside community centre
(L-R) City Councilors Ken Johnston, Buck Buchanan, Lawrence Lee, Mayor Tara Veer, City Councilors Tanya Handley and Michael Dawe broke ground on the new northside community centre on 76 Street next to Glendale School in Red Deer on Tuesday.
Sod turns on Red Deer’s northside community centre
Work is officially underway on Red Deer’s long-awaited northside community centre.
Located between Glendale School of Sciences and Technology and the Glendale Skate Park on 76 Street, the $9.1 million facility is expected to open in mid-2019 and offer a place for nearby residents to gather for recreation, arts, culture and other multi-purpose activities.
City officials say the centre will also give Red Deerians on the north side an additional facility to hold meetings, take part in fitness programming, as well as having a teaching kitchen and servery.
Mayor Tara Veer says this project signals a new era in how the City is now approaching community centres.
“It’s been years in the making because the vision for the northside community centre was ultimately developed by Red Deerians for Red Deerians with particularly strong input from the residents of north Red Deer who it will predominantly serve,” Veer said.
With traditional community centres being cost prohibitive and no longer being built, Veer says the northside community will be the new model for building community life in Red Deer moving forward.
“It will ultimately serve four or five subdivisions predominantly in those neighbourhoods in the north,” explains Veer. “Of course it will be accessible by all Red Deerians and available for bookings but really as we look to the future, it will be the template that we will follow for future growth and development in the community.”
Despite some delays in initially getting the project going, Veer says everything is now back on track and running on budget.
“Part of the time delay was we wanted to get the project right and that required substantive public consultation,” Veer explains. “Thankfully that time delay is over and we mark the beginning of construction on this day.”
Scott Builders Project Manager Raymond Rogers says cost increases in the construction industry have also played a role in delaying the project.
“Steel has gone through the roof, drywall is going up, so it’s been a challenge with some of the budgetary issues, trying to get within the City’s budget,” admits Rogers. “But as you can see, we’ve started work, so we’re there.”
Officials say direct programming for the yet-to-be-named facility will be provided by the City of Red Deer, with the centre to also be available for drop-in public use and special events like weddings and other community gatherings.
A strong connection with Glendale School and the Glendale Skate Park is also anticipated, so the community centre will have a youth gathering space and interactive play area for children, with the Glendale School playground now relocated to accommodate the new facility.
Construction of the facility is also expected to improve traffic flow for the Glendale neighbourhood with right-in, right-out access to 77 Street.
Shelley Gagnon, Manager of Recreation, Parks and Culture for the City of Red Deer says the 20,000 sq.ft facility is will contain the kinds of spaces that residents of north Red Deer wanted in their community centre.
“The gathering area, for example, is also a gymnasium. So we can do basketball, badminton, pickleball, whatever you want to do from a sport or recreation perspective,” states Gagnon. “But it converts very well into an area for weddings or performances, so it’s a multi-purpose space. Unique to this space is the kitchen area that we have that’s a bit of a teaching kitchen and a servery, so that’s a unique space that we can partner with community organizations and bring them into the centre to provide programming for the community as well.”
Updates on the project can be seen at www.reddeer.ca/ncc.