UPDATE: The city has confirmed there were “minor unforeseen costs” that have pushed the grandstand’s budget over by three per cent. Final numbers won’t be known until the project is complete.
Barring a few last fixes, the new grandstand at the Community Knowledge Campus field is ready for use. That will happen quickly, as was built just in time for the Alberta Summer Games this weekend.
Grande Prairie city council greenlit the $4.7 million project a little over a year ago. City councillor Kevin O’Toole says he’s proud of the result and believes it will get provincial recognition.
“I think it’s going to be great for the entire region, not just necessarily the City of Grande Prairie. I’m thinking all the way north; they don’t have to come all the way to Edmonton to play a football field if they make it into the playoffs.”
The stands have a capacity of around 850 people, while another 1,200 could potentially fit on the upper concourse. The facility is wheelchair accessible, includes a concession, and change rooms that can be configured to meet the needs of high school, junior, and provincial football teams using overhead doors that can be pulled down.
The change rooms and the referee room can be accessed from both sides of the building. CKC Grandstand General Manager Jim Weller says that’s in case another field is built to the west.
“We have the opportunity to do something on the other side, whether it’s a soccer field or a soccer field with a track around it. I think there’s some real opportunities there to really provide an all-purpose centre.”
Bleachers could also be added to the other side.
While the keys have been handed over to the Alberta Summer Games committee for the weekend, Corporate Facilities Project Manager Lanny Brown says there are still a few construction deficiencies that need to be dealt with. That includes some painting and the adjustment of doors and siding.
“Some components need to be changed and adjusted, but we’re functional; we have occupancy, so we’re good for the games.”
The construction tender was awarded to Southwest Design & Construction Ltd. in June 2017 for $4.7 million with design, furniture and fixtures. Brown says they went a little over budget, but a final total is not yet available. He encourages people to visit it for themselves to see the end result.
“It speaks for itself. You can’t put it into words; you need to see the facility to really appreciate it.”
The CKC Field synthetic turf field will be home to some of the football for the games Friday through Sunday. It is located across from Charles Spencer School along 68 Avenue.