Matthew Hansen

Curling rink renos thrill

Red Deer Curling Centre has plenty to brag about.

Red Deer Curling Centre has plenty to brag about.

An $8.8-million expansion and renovation project increased the number of curling sheets to 12 from eight, offers a 350-seat lounge, meeting rooms, and more.

“It’s exceeded our expectations,” said curling club president Scott Dickson on Thursday, when the centre celebrated its official grand opening as one of Red Deer’s centennial projects.

“It looks pretty impressive. People come in and go, ‘Wow, that’s a big space.’ ”

He said the curling centre has already grown by about 200 members thanks to the upgrades, with 17 adult leagues and four junior leagues.

Last year, the curling centre had 1,200 members.

Work began on the 57-year-old facility, located at 4725 43rd St., in mid-February and it reopened in early November. Almost 38,000 square feet were added to the building.

Upgrades to the first floor viewing area and second floor lounge/viewing area provide enhanced visibility with wall-to-wall windows to the ice.

Cameras over the ends allow people to see exactly where the rocks land on television monitors in viewing areas.

The new efficient ice-making plant makes it a top curling facility for players, Dickson said.

“The ice is fantastic.

“This is world curling championship ice all the time. Arena ice.”

And the activity doesn’t have to stop in the spring now that the sand floor beneath the ice has been upgraded to concrete.

“We do hope to utilize it as a trade show floor space. It’s going to be very versatile. We’ve got the huge end door so we can get vehicles through.”

He said Red Deer Public Market held in the curling rink parking lot on Saturdays throughout the summer is expected to be a draw for trade shows by providing a ready-made audience.

Mac Houston of Red Deer, who was watching seniors playing in the Pioneer League on Thursday afternoon, said renovations have made the curling centre into a marvelous building.

“I would say it’s likely one of the best rinks in Canada,” Houston said.

“It’s exceptional upstairs,” said Albert Buckland of Red Deer.

Just Posted

BlackBerry to buy cybersecurity company Cylance for US$1.4 billion

WATERLOO, Ont. — BlackBerry Ltd. has signed a deal to acquire U.S.… Continue reading

Dead Saskatoon tattoo artist’s skin removed, preserved to honour his work

SASKATOON — When Chris Wenzel knew he was going to die, he… Continue reading

Occupational safety officers investigate deaths of three people near Edmonton

LEDUC, Alta. — RCMP say three men have died in a workplace… Continue reading

Firearms licence screening backlogs pose safety risks: RCMP audit

OTTAWA — Investigations into whether gun licences should be revoked due to… Continue reading

Fashion Fridays: 5 coats you need this winter!

Kim XO, lets you know the best online shopping tips during Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Kapanen’s 2 goals lead Maple Leafs past Sharks 5-3

SAN JOSE, Calif. — Kasperi Kapanen scored his second goal of the… Continue reading

Price shines as Canadiens score twice in third period to rally past Flames

CALGARY — In a duel of struggling goaltenders, one returned to vintage… Continue reading

Quebec literary prize on hold after Amazon sponsorship controversy

MONTREAL — A prestigious Quebec literary prize has been suspended amid public… Continue reading

‘No limits:’ Ill-Abilities breakdance crew teams up with Les Grands Ballets

MONTREAL — Luca ‘Lazylegz’ Patuelli’s crutches become an extension of his arms… Continue reading

One month after legalization, illicit cannabis shops doing brisk business

TORONTO — The three surveillance cameras and the steady flow of people… Continue reading

Lowry has strong words for Raptors’ lack of communication after loss

TORONTO — Raptors coach Nick Nurse might not have had a good… Continue reading

S. Korea’s ‘Garlic Girls’ accuse coaches of derailing team

SEOUL, Korea, Republic Of — The Garlic Girls, South Korea’s hugely popular… Continue reading

Trump administration defends its case against CNN’s Acosta

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s administration is trying to fend off a… Continue reading

Most Read