Red Deer Counc. Vesna Higham (contributed photo). Red Deer Counc. Vesna Higham (contributed photo).

Construction on $9 million Northside Community Centre to start this spring

Counc. Vesna Higham said delay is “unfortunate” but understandable

North Red Deer residents who’ve waited years for a community centre will have to wait a year longer.

Construction on a Northside Community Centre, planned for the corner of Taylor Drive and 77 Street, next to Glendale School, won’t be started until April. This means the facility won’t be ready for community use until early in 2019.

Coun. Vesna Higham expressed the same disappointment as many other north Red Deerians about the wait.

“The fact it’s delayed is unfortunate,” said Higham — but she feels it’s understandable, under the circumstances.

She noted the $9.1 million building that will provide after-school programs and space for meetings, services and activities was supposed to open this year. But construction estimates came in much higher than anticipated, so its 10-to 12-month building time frame won’t be started until this spring.

According to the city’s website, the Northside Community Centre will feature multi-functional spaces,arts and leisure activities, meeting spaces, and recreation programs.

Higham, a Kentwood resident, knows it will be well-used, judging by the number of local youths who gather at the nearby skateboard park. “I’ve often been asked ‘Why the delay?’ ‘When is it coming on stream?’…

“It’s long overdue,” she added, but at least now there’s an anticipated opening date in March or April of 2019.

An operating budget of $375,000 was pegged by city council for next year.

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