City looking at central parks areas for opportunities

The City of Red Deer is looking at how best to develop more recreational opportunities near the Red Deer Museum and two longtime community arenas.

The City of Red Deer is looking at how best to develop more recreational opportunities near the Red Deer Museum and two longtime community arenas.

Consultants are being sought to do a conceptual plan for the Rotary Recreation Park and South Area site — which stretches from the outdoor speedskating oval north of the Golden Circle, past the museum, Recreation Centre, tennis court area and south to where the Red Deer Arena and Kinex Arena are found. The site also runs adjacent to Pioneer Lodge on the east side.

It doesn’t include the Rotary playground.

The conceptual plan comes out of a Community Assets Needs Assessment, which was done last year to set the direction of recreation, parks and culture facility development over the next 25 years.

City recreation superintendent Kay Kenny said the overall plan is needed for future redevelopment possibilities.

“We want to make sure we have everything in relationship to the other — that we have looked at all the amenities and the structures that would be located on this site and that we have considered the amount of parking required,” Kenny said on Wednesday.

Red Deer’s first 50-metre swimming pool could even be built in the area.

The Central Alberta Aquatics Centre Society has been vying for a competitive pool for a number of years and has shown interest in the area. The city is in discussions with the group, Kenny said.

“There’s a possibility of linking it up with the Recreation Centre site, which is pretty much aquatics right now,” she said.

Kenny further said the new pool could be built on the south side of the centre where the outdoor pool is.

The Red Deer Arena and the Kinex Arena are also reaching the end of their life spans.

“We’ll eventually need to consider replacing those two arenas with a twin arena,” Kenny said.

Consultants will also review relevant studies and documents, including the Red Deer Rotary Parks Facilities study from six years ago. It suggested moving the Red Deer Museum to another location on this site.

“There may be another place where the museum could go,” Kenny said. “We’re investigating that as well.”

The conceptual plan will hopefully be done by October or November.

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