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Location for new indoor rec centre up for debate

A new indoor recreation facility may soon be built in Grande Prairie, but the exact final destination is still up for debate. The discussions surrounding a proposed new space began earlier this year, with Riverstone and the Smith plot of land deemed to be the most likely spots.

However, the caveat for the build comes in the form of a rather strict timeline, which needs to see the majority of construction finished in 2021. Grande Prairie Councillor Dylan Bressey says the impetus behind such a quick turnaround comes down to funding, as a bulk of the cash to go towards the build will come from the recently announced Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program COVID 19 Resilience Stream from the federal government.

“The federal funding behind this has a timeline attached to it, as in it needs to be done construction in 2021. There is a recommendation to put it in the Riverstone area, because that land is already serviced, and it will be more likely to hit the timelines we need to hit. On the other hand, there are some on council that feels it should go in Smith because that’s just a better place for it, but it’s also riskier in terms of hitting our timelines.”

Bressey says while the debate over the location will continue, all members of city council are on board with the idea of providing more recreation space for residents, especially those in the east end of the city.

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“I haven’t heard any opposition from council in terms of getting more indoor, low-cost indoor recreation space… I think we both want to improve the quality of life of our residents, but also be more responsible with taxpayer dollars, and these low-cost facilities accomplish both of those goals.”

The topic will head to an upcoming full meeting of city council for final debate and vote.

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