Earlyne and Mervyn Pidherney celebrate the renaming of Red Deer's curling and community centre to Pidherney Centre on Friday.

Curling centre gets new name

Red Deer’s premier curling complex has a new name.

Red Deer’s premier curling complex has a new name.

On Friday, the Red Deer Curling board announced the renaming of the facility from Red Deer Curling Centre to Pidherney Centre after it recently underwent $8.8 million worth of renovations.

Three new signs were unveiled outside of the centre in recognition of the support of longtime local businessman Mervyn Pidherney and his wife Earlyne.

The amount of the 15-year contract is not being divulged.

Pidherney’s was founded in 1964 with a single gravel truck. It’s since expanded into a multi-faceted organization that services various sectors of the construction industry and has more than 500 employees during peak season.

A crowd of business, community and civic leaders gathered for the celebration inside the new part of the centre that held its first curling event in November and officially opened on Jan. 3. The Pidherney Centre at 4725 43rd St. is now home to 12 ice sheets (from the original eight), plus a 350-seat lounge, meeting rooms and more.

Mervyn Pidherney said the opportunity arose to give something back to the city. It will mean good advertising for something they want to support.

“I had a chance before to be involved in another building and I turned it down,” said Pidherney, a former curler. “This time I didn’t.” Pidherney said the contract took some time. He worked on it all winter.

Scott Dickson, chairman of the curling club, said getting sponsorship for the building is great news for the non-profit organization.

“When we opened, we knew we’d be carrying some (mortgage) but this core sponsorship goes directly to offset any mortgage we would have had to have taken,” said Dickson. “It’s significant, it’s a very large contribution.”

The City of Red Deer agreed to spend $5 million in 2012 on the project, on top of $1.175 million previously approved. The city owns the land and the curling club owns the building.

The project was also paid for with provincial and federal grants, fundraising campaigns for more than 10 years, as well as money from Scotties tournament revenues.

Red Deer Mayor Morris Flewwelling said the City of Red Deer recently created a policy so that it can solicit contributions in exchange for naming rights for a period of time on some of its facilities.

Now the city is seeking naming partners for a new skateboard park and a water spray park.

“So we now have a policy where we are actively seeking (naming rights),” said Flewwelling. “It will assist with capital and operating costs … we’re in that game now, whereas before the city didn’t have a policy and if it happened, it happened. We now have rules where everyone will be treated the same.”

ltester@bprda.wpengine.com

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