Facility scores federal cash

The federal government will put close to $850,000 towards the new Penhold Regional Multiplex.

Workers continue to move forward with the Penhold Regional Multiplex on Friday.

The federal government will put close to $850,000 towards the new Penhold Regional Multiplex.

The funding, announced Friday, means the $20-million project will be able move forward with Phase 3, which includes a gym and dance studio.

Much of the work for phase one and two of the project is already underway and includes an NHL-size hockey arena, three-lane walking track, fitness centre and library. The arena is expected to be completed in March 2010 and the library should be done by August or September of 2010, with the final phase being completed by this time next year.

Penhold Mayor Julia King said so far the town has $15 million, which includes municipal, provincial, federal and corporate funding. She said they are looking at ways that residents or companies would be able to give donations or fund seating in the new complex to help come up with the rest of the money.

The announcement was held in the shell of the building, which will eventually be the multiplex’s library. The multiplex is located at the northeast edge of the town, south of Hwy 42.

“With this funding announcement, we can continue on and make the most out of the dollars at our doorstep,” King said.

She said the multiplex will give both Penhold and the region a huge opportunity for learning and wellness. The extra ice and gymnasium space could allow the town or local schools to host events that they couldn’t in the past. The new library will offer five times as much space for programming.

Bearden Engineering and Timcon Construction are working on the multiplex.

King said because costs are less than they were during the boom, the town will be able to do everything that was on their wish list for the project.

Federal funding of a little more than $29,000 was also announced for the Bowden Igloo Arena.

Bowden Mayor Cody Berggren said the funding will go towards creating a new ice plant room, adding efficient LED lighting to the arena, putting in high-efficiency furnaces, upgrading the library and dressing room areas, as well as the parking lot.

He said the upgrades will mean the facility, which is a cornerstone of the community, will be able to be used for the next 20 to 30 years.

The funding for both the Penhold Regional Multiplex and the Bowden Igloo Arena comes from the Recreational Infrastructure Canada program, which is part of the federal government’s Economic Action Plan to create more jobs during the recession.

Red Deer MP Earl Dreeshen and Red Deer South MLA Cal Dallas also attended the announcements.

sobrien@bprda.wpengine.com

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