Recreation centre concept tops $70 million

by Tristan Turner
Morinville News Correspondent

Council has received a new complete build out concept, including the potential layout of a two-floor complex for the future Morinville recreation centre in their latest council agenda package.

The concept was completed by the Town’s architect firm, Architecture Tkalcic Bengert (Atb), and includes two sheets of ice with many change rooms and 1,500 seats, a curling rink with club space, multiple leases for business, a fieldhouse, and a fitness area. The diagram also contains an aquatic centre with a leisure pool, a four-lane pool, and a hot tub.

This is not in any way final, and Council has yet to make a decision on what will be built. The Atb concept will be brought forward to Council at their Oct. 11 meeting.

Eventually, the centre is slated to have 1,500 seats for hockey, but the initial stage may only have 500-800 seats.

The final cost of the centre as presented in the Oct. 11 agenda package is estimated at $70 million, including the purchase of the land, servicing, and construction. The construction itself would be approximately $50 million. These figures far exceed the amount Council had budgeted for the centre in their 2015 capital budget at $13.75 million.

The architect is looking at options for the Town to build out this arena in multiple stages, however. First putting in the new arena and core areas, and then building out the rest in future stages. The initial stage, if Council decides to break up the project into stages, would have the arena, a running track, and a fitness centre, with the potential of other future stages to be added later. Details on these plans are not yet publicly available, though more may become known at the next meeting of Council.

According to the Oct. 11 Agenda Package, “Morinville Council shared this information informally with Sturgeon County Council at an Inter-municipal Affairs Committee meeting on September 28, 2016, and will be providing a formal report to Sturgeon County Council at their regular meeting on October 11, 2016.”

See later this week for a follow up on the Oct. 11 Council meeting.

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  1. This is a bit ridiculous. What started off with a concept of replacing the existing rink, which is dire need of being replaced, has turned into a $70 million dollar multi use facility. Not sure where the money is coming from, but I sure hope the taxpayers won’t be on the hook for this.

    • Of course taxpayers will be on the hook to pay! According to recent survey most residents say they are okay with that. They say that but when and if it happens everyone will be crying about their increase in their taxes !!

  2. My hometown made a drastic error when they built their facilities. They also did not feel they could afford the pool and left it out. A few years later they ended up building it separately and now the tax payers are footing the bill for operating and maintenance costs on two separate buildings. In the end if the would have built them together and made a conscious decisions to have the systems work together it would have saved the town and it’s tax payers a lot of money.

  3. This is ridiculous amount of money, you can build a multi-plex arena with a pool for less then this. Put out a decent RFP and use an IPD concept!!!

  4. It’s about time.I moved from that town because there was nothing to do. 30 years later they are actually getting their stuff together. I wouldn’t hold your breath town council will probably find some excuse to not build it.

  5. This is fantastic. Morinville needs more to bring people to town. My only concern is with everything else in town, will it be competitive in pricing to use? The gym is WAY over priced in comparison to anything the city has to offer and with what you get in regards to equipment and services.

  6. I cannot support this project until we as residents know what the Operating costs of this facility will be. Have we not learned anything from the MCC or even the Town Hall renovations? Obtaining the capital to build this facility is the easy part. Paying for it’s operating and eventual capital upgrade costs is the hard part

    Look at Servus place in St. Albert, it’s only 10 years old and already it has required significant capital upgrades in addition to the operating costs of the facility.

    These buildings are expensive to manage and maintain. Let’s not be short sighted as residents and only be focused on the build cost.

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