When the City’s Master Recreation Plan was released in 2014, one of the main considerations was a new indoor recreation facility to expand recreation offerings as the community grows. Over the last two years, the City’s Parks & Recreation team, along with consultants from RC Strategies conducted a detailed analysis and report of the current needs as well as the feasibility to pursue the facility.
The completed Future Recreation and Leisure Centre Feasibility Study report is an in depth compilation of conversations with residents, stakeholders and community groups, surveys conducted around Chestermere and surrounding areas, and the current experience of recreation in Chestermere.
“We worked hard to ensure that the Study’s process and findings were thorough and reflect the community’s viewpoints,” said Kathy Russell, Parks & Recreation Manager at the City of Chestermere. “The City now has a clear understanding of the long term options that are available for the future development of indoor recreational facilities.”
The Study explored questions of financial sustainability, design components, phasing opportunities, the importance of the current Recreation Centre, and the potential for exploring partnership opportunities.
The recommendations in the Study suggest that in addition to ensuring current recreation service levels are maintained, the City should explore a two phased plan for a future facility to serve the community’s growing recreation needs. This would include space for an indoor field house (gymnasium, fitness centre and multi-purpose space) as well as an aquatics center with a pool.
Going forward, the City is interested in exploring partnership arrangements to further determine the viability of a new facility. Concurrent to investigating funding options, the City is working with the CRCA to ensure that the existing Recreation Centre can continue to support the community.
“The City will continue to explore options that balance the interests of the community and the City’s financial realities,” said Russell. “As a growing City with a younger demographic, we want to ensure that we have great, sustainable recreation offerings now and into the future.”
Funding opportunities are being explored for this long term goal and the City is continuing to invest in outdoor recreation opportunities for residents this year. Current budgeted projects for this summer include improvements to the Cove Park beach and playground, the Natural Park/Off-Leash Area landscaping project, extending the three meter gravel pathway on the Altalink, and a new soccer field at Our Lady of Wisdom School.
You can view the complete results of the Feasibility Study report at: www.chestermere.ca/futurerec.