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Finishing touches underway on Red Deer recreation centre expansion

Februrary grand opening anticipated for G H Dawe Community Centre project
The expansion of G.H. Dawe Community Centre includes a fitness track. (Photo from Facebook)

A grand opening for the G.H. Dawe Community Centre expansion project is planned for late February.

“More details will be coming about what that entails, but we’re excited to introduce the facility to people and show them the new space,” said Keely Van Vlack, project specialist with the city.

People driving by the site will see exterior metal work underway. On the inside public art installations are proceeding, as well as finishing touches like painting, flooring, and fixtures.

“There is always a push at the end of a project, especially in construction so it’s a busy site and there’s a lot of trades working really, really hard.”

Construction on the $44-million upgrade, which began in May 2021, includes two NHL standard ice surfaces, an expanded fitness area, with running track and two fitness studios, an additional north entrance with site access from 67 Street, and additional parking.

An outdoor spray park with washroom facilities will revealed at a later date.


G.H. Dawe Community Centre upgrade project nearing finishing stage

Van Vlack said building during the pandemic led to some challenges but the team worked quickly to identify them, like timelines for material delivery. The design was also adjusted to use precast concrete wall and floor panels.

“The precast option helped us to adapt and stay on budget just because of the steel prices and the steel market that we were seeing early on in the project. We had to make a decision to adapt and change.”

She said every project has opportunities to learn and to think of ways to do things differently.

“We’re very thankful for our team. Everyone worked very hard initially to address some non-typical things that we haven’t experienced in the past.”

As a result, the construction schedule was maintained 99 per cent of the time, she added.

“It’s really fun to see it take shape and I think it’s a facility that stands out and is going to service the city well for many, many years.”


Red Deer city council approves $43.3 million upgrade to G.H. Dawe Centre

The city received $15.1 million for the project from the federal government through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, and $12.8 million came from the province through Municipal Sustainability Initiative funding.

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The expansion of G.H. Dawe Community Centre includes two NHL regulation sized arenas with modern dressing rooms and ample seating. (Photo from Facebook)