Dawe Centre not expected to open to public until Aug. 1

The opening of the newly renovated G.H. Dawe Community Centre has been delayed. As recently as January, it was scheduled by the City of Red Deer for a late spring or early summer premiere.

The opening of the newly renovated G.H. Dawe Community Centre has been delayed.

As recently as January, it was scheduled by the City of Red Deer for a late spring or early summer premiere.

Now it’s not expected to be open until Aug. 1.

“That’s our line in the sand. We’re not going beyond it,” project superintendent Jerry Hedlund said on Tuesday.

“We didn’t know if we’d run into any more snags going forward, so that’s why we kind of compromised and gave ourselves the extra month in case we ran into some kind of large issue.” Hedlund said there are a number of reasons for the bump, including a delay in the shipment of imported decorative tiles.

“I think, given the economy and scope of workspace with a renovation like this, there are so many unknowns you can run into,” said Hedlund. “We’ve been incredibly fortunate so far.”

He said the deadline was moved a few weeks ago when the accent tiles from the U.S., destined for the pools and deck area, were still back-ordered. According to Hedlund, such tile delays aren’t uncommon. The other order of tiles, from Italy, are on site and will adorn the mall area of the facility.

The Dawe Centre closed on March 31, 2008, and was originally slated for reopening within 18 to 24 months, the latter of which would have been last week. Hedlund explained that the general contractor never actually got started with deconstruction until about August of that year, due to hazardous materials abatement work in the interim.

The project is still on budget and Hedlund said he hopes it finishes $100,000 under its $29.9-million price tag.

Work is in the finishing stage and all of the hard construction is almost done, said Hedlund. The water slide contractor will be on site soon, and the rest of the work largely consists of tiling, painting and putting in a few light fixtures.

Hedlund said he’s shooting to have all staff members in by July 1, so there’s a full month in which to test the facilities and train staff members on the new equipment.

The expanded community centre on Red Deer’s north end will have five pool basins, two water slides, a sauna, steam room, three multipurpose rooms, a gymnasium, fitness and workout space, and food services, as well as the renovated Red Deer Public Library branch.


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