Being one of Canada’s fastest growing communities brings some expectations.
For Sylvan Lake residents, many of those were met with the recent opening of the $33.5-million NexSource Centre.
I think it was a long time coming,” said Joanne Gaudet, town communication officer.
“I think everyone felt not only excitement, but a sense of relief as well, when they were able to walk through those doors.”
The facility has been open since the end of March but last weekend the town made it official with a grand opening followed by a weekend of activities and free admission.
Until the end of the month, residents can six-month or one-year facility passes for half price.
As far back as 2010, when the town released its Recreation, Parks and Open Spaces Master Plan, the need for a new recreation facility was identified.
“So we’ve fulfilled that need,” she said.
Besides providing a new arena to replace the one that collapsed under the weight of snow in early 2014, the facility allows the town to offer residents more variety.
“There are new programs we have never been able to offer, let alone fill,” she said. “(There is) everything from intro to dance and fitness classes were something we kind of never really got into before.”
“In the years prior we always used to a recreation and culture needs survey throughout the year,” she said.
Now, the town not only knows what residents want, they can give it to them.
With growth showing little sign of slowing, Sylvan Lake is already looking at its “next best thing,” she said.
Last year, a local family donated 20 acres for the park and the town spent just over $1 million to buy another 54 acres from the family.
Four baseball diamond, two soccer fields, multi-use artificial turf field, cricket pitch,volleyball courts and cricket pitch will be built along with a basketball court that will become an outdoor ice rink in winter. The park will also have a fieldhouse, special events green space and a 25-stall RV camping site.
The new sports park will be known as Pogadl Park in recognition of the the land donation in the name of Ed and Glenda Pogadl.
“We’re continuing to grow and we’re continuing to plan to accommodate that growth.”