2019 Canada Winter Games chairwoman Lyn Radford announced on Friday that the Canada Games Celebration Plaza will be built outside the former Central Elementary School downtown. The school is also being renovated in a $7-million project.

Canada Games Celebration Plaza announced

Former Central Elementary School grounds will become Games gathering place

2019 Canada Games organizers are looking back to the future for their latest project.

Red Deer’s historic Central Elementary School will be extensively renovated and the Canada Games Celebration Plaza created out front.

“It’s so important that we think about our heritage when we’re moving forward,” said Lyn Radford at a Friday morning news conference outside the school at 5205 48th Ave.

“We can’t forget our past.”

The plaza will have room for crowds of 5,000 to 10,000 and is expected to be an integral part of the Games and a place for the public to connect with the competition in a great atmosphere.

The $1 million plaza will be the public centrepiece of the games, the scene of medal ceremonies, nightly concerts and other events.

Overlooking the plaza is the former Central Elementary School. Built in 1939, it is one of the city’s most significant historical buildings and will be completely renovated in a $7-million project.

Work has already begun on restoring the facade of the school that is home to Canada Games organizers. The interior will be overhauled and, following the Games, turned into a space for the city’s Culture Services department.

Mayor Tara Veer said the partnership between the city, the 2019 Canada Winter Games Host Society and Red Deer Public Schools was a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity” to preserve a treasured piece of city heritage.

Without that team effort, preserving and restoring the school would have been cost-prohibitive, said Veer.

The city has big plans for the school. To boost its curb appeal, nearby power lines will be buried, sidewalks widened, street furniture added and landscaping undertaken.

“Not only does it preserve a heritage building, it revitalizes this section of the downtown,” said Veer.

The project will draw on funding from the city; sponsorships, including naming rights; heritage grants and other federal and provincial funding.

See more online.

pcowley@reddeeradvocate.com

Just Posted

PHOTO: Black Friday shoppers hunt for bargains

Red Deer retailers participate in annual event

A long wait ends: Trudeau to apologize to excluded residential school students

GOOSE BAY, N.L. — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will be in Goose… Continue reading

Trump wants to end welfare as Bill Clinton knows it

WASHINGTON — Overhauling welfare was one of the defining goals of Bill… Continue reading

UK bookmaker suspends bets on when Prince Harry will marry

LONDON — A major London bookmaker has suspended betting on whether Prince… Continue reading

Black Friday enthusiasm wanes as some consumers, retailers shun practice

VANCOUVER — Chaotic images of people clamouring to be the first through… Continue reading

VIDEO: Red Deerians taste what the city has to offer

Red Deerians sampled some of the finest foods Central Alberta restaurants have… Continue reading

Volunteer with victim services in Red Deer

Learn more at info session on Nov. 27

Updated: Missing Sylvan Lake women found

Women were reported missing earlier this week

Liberals propose billions for affordable housing, including individual benefits

A Liberal government fond of promising help for those working hard to… Continue reading

Alberta Party sees growth in Central Alberta

Greg Clark addressed health care needs addressed in Red Deer

Ponoka council freezes Ponoka Fire Department spending

All discretionary spending frozen until full budget numbers are presented

WATCH: Ponoka’s Festival of Trees sees continued support

Three days of celebration and fundraising held at the Calnash Ag Event Centre

Creationist will speak at home-schooling convention in Red Deer

Ken Ham has debated Bill Nye on the Earth’s origins

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month