Open house to address Town’s plan for arena and rec facility

An AODBT consultant shows the Martensville, Saskatchewan Athletics Pavillion and High School layout to members of Council prior to their visiting the facility Nov. 24.

– Photo Courtesy Town of Morinville

by Colin Smith

An upcoming open house will give Morinville and area residents a chance to find out more about a proposed new regional multi-use recreation centre.

The Dec. 11 open house will provide a recap of all of the input that has been compiled so far from the previous open house, surveys, Rotary Club open houses, and Regional Recreation Master Planning, according to Mayor Lisa Holmes. She said the site planning consultants, AODBT, will present further information about the restrictions and opportunities that have been identified for the proposed site and will continue to gather input to develop a master plan for the facility.

“We will discuss the proposed timeline for the project and answer questions about the current state of the Ray MacDonald [Sports] Center,” she said about the upcoming open house.

On Monday, Nov. 24 four councillors and Morinville’s Chief Administrative Officer Debbie Oyarzun travelled to Saskatchewan to meet with AODBT representatives and to tour two recreation facilities. Holmes said the Morinville representatives toured Warman’s Legends Centre and Middle Years School and the Martensville Athletic Pavilion and High School, which were chosen for several reasons.

“Most significant are the similarities that we share in size, population, proximity to a major urban centre – Saskatoon compared to Edmonton – and access from highways, etc.,” she said. “The two facilities highlighted two different project management styles and were examples of two different types of building materials as well.”

The mayor said the visits also provided the opportunity to discuss the successes and challenges of the projects with municipal staff members and with stakeholders including school officials.

“We also got to see, firsthand, the economic impact that developing a recreation facility in a community can bring,” she added. “A recreation facility creates so many opportunities for a community in addition to the obvious recreation amenities.

“There are opportunities right on site for partnerships and efficiencies. In addition, having a facility attracts new residents and in turn that attracts more commercial developments and investments.”

Council made the decision to replace the aging Ray MacDonald Sports Center by next year. Almost $14 million has been allotted for the facility in the proposed 2015 capital budget. However Holmes indicated that figure is not fixed.
“The $13.7 million amount in the capital budget is a placeholder and has no impact on taxes,” she said. “I’m sure Council will have further discussion on the projects as we consider second and third reading of the budget in December.”

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