Earlier today, representatives from the City of Chestermere, community groups, local recreation organizations, developers and the project team celebrated the sod turning for the upcoming Chestermere Civic Recreation Centre.
“Today, as Council officially turns the sod and kicks off the construction of the brand-new Civic Recreation Centre, we are launching much more than just the beginning of a new building,” said Mayor Marshall Chalmers. “We are celebrating years of effort that have brought us to this point. We are celebrating that we are creating new jobs and the fact that new and innovative recreation programs and services will be right at our doorstep without having to travel outside of our community. And we are celebrating that in the future, this site will be a place for people to gather, for teamwork to be built, for sportsmanship to be learned and for our community to grow strong and healthy together.”
The new facility will be located just off of Merganser Drive in the new community of Dawson’s Landing and will be situated across the street from two future schools.
The project is being funded by developers (through offsite levies), government grants and donations.
While its main feature will be a FIFA sized turf field, the new Civic Recreation Centre is not merely a fieldhouse.
“It was important when we started this project to respond to the site and context of Chestermere – to make sure it’s a building that seems like it belongs in Chestermere,” said David Wittman, Partner with Gibbs Gage Architecture. “The building is really meant to reflect the dynamic and inclusive nature of the facility, and it’s intended to be more than just a sports facility – it’s meant to be a civic node.”
The Civic Recreation Centre has been thoughtfully designed as an inclusive and fully accessible community hub for all ages. Specific elements include:
- A FIFA sized turf field
- A 6200 ft2 fitness centre
- An 1100 ft2 spin studio
- A 2600ft2 multipurpose studio that can support fitness classes or community events
- Two 150 locker capacity change rooms
- Eight 25 person capacity team rooms that will enable tournaments
- Lobby space and social stairs that have been intentionally designed as multi-purpose to offer an option for community events and youth programs
- A walking area and spectator seating
- 2800 ft2 of multipurpose space for community groups and programs
Chestermere groups are excited about the possibilities that the new facility will hold for them. In addition to space for nearly 20 sports to be learned and practiced, the centre offers creative opportunities for a wide range of fitness, wellness and preventative health programs.
“We’re excited to have an indoor facility that will be available to the youth in Chestermere because we are very interested in running programs year-round, which we can’t currently do. We’re interested in getting kids off the blue screen and on the green grass - even if it’s indoors,” says Matt Rainey, President of Chestermere Viking Athletic Association, a junior rugby group in Chestermere.
Leslie Racz, from the Calgary Rural Primary Care Network (CRPCN) said that “CRPCN, in collaboration with the City of Chestermere, is looking forward to offering wellness programs around movement, health and connection within the new Chestermere Civic Centre.”
In addition to the indoor features, the project includes plans for a hard court / ice rink, a covered pergola, a transit plaza, a parking lot that can transition to sport surfaces and a community event plaza.
The sod turning marks a significant milestone for this project. Since 2014, City staff have conducted community consultation, a formal needs assessment, partnership exploration, site and concept feasibility work, development discussions, interviews with recreation experts, and other community site visits. City Council approved a site in 2020 and schematic designs in June 2021.
“Thousands of residents, staff, community groups, past Councils and consultants have provided detailed feedback to the municipality to set a clear path forward for what our community needs in terms of recreation,” says Mayor Chalmers. “And while there may be many amenities we want, we are pursuing what we need, and we are pursuing it in a sustainable way.”
“And this is just the beginning! The fieldhouse, walking area, community rooms and cultural spaces are only Phase 1. We don’t have anything solidified yet for final phases, but I can’t wait to see my own grandkids learning a whole range of sports and healthy living activities on this site in the years to come.”
The anticipated opening of the building is the late Summer or early Fall of 2023.
To learn more about the project, visit Chestermere.ca/civiccentre