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

Red Deerians can expect to see the upgraded G.H. Dawe Community Centre in early 2023.
The G.H. Dawe Community Centre in Red Deer is expected to be opened after renovation by the end of February. (Advocate file photo)

Red Deerians can expect to see the upgraded G.H. Dawe Community Centre in early 2023.

Construction on the $44-million upgrade project began in May 2021. Curtis Martinek, City of Red Deer facilities and asset management superintendent, says the goal is for the facility to be open by the end of February.

The upgrades include a second ice surface, a north entrance to the building, an outdoor spray park, an expansion of fitness/programming space, including a running track, and more.

“Exterior-wise, we’re about 85 per cent complete. We finished off most of the exterior work before the snow hit – there will be a bit more to do in the spring,” Martinek said Monday.

“Interior wise, the block work, framing and second floor are 95 per cent complete. Both ice surface pads are poured. … The spray park is about 85 per cent complete as well. They got the pad poured and building up before the snow hit.”

Some amenities and programs have been available at the G.H. Dawe Community Centre during construction, including the pool and gymnasium. The ice surface was not available during construction.

Martinek said he’s excited renovations are nearing completion.

“We were delayed in June due to the rains, but then we had some great weather after that and caught up on our schedule,” he said.

“We originally had Phase 2 planned when we did Phase 1 renovations of the project back in 2009 or 2010 – that was the aquatic side. There were plans for this expansion back then.

“I’ve been with the city 20 years and now it’s great to see Phase 2 coming around and almost being completed. I think the public, especially north Red Deer, is going to enjoy the new amenity.”

When the G.H. Dawe Community Centre re-opens in 2023, the Kinex Arena will be decommissioned, and the building will be demolished.

The Kinex Arena has reached the end of its lifespan and would require significant investment to update the facility. An assessment was conducted in 2018 to determine the future viability of the building as an ice arena, dry space/field house and garage/maintenance shop.

Based on the cost estimates, a recommendation was made to maintain the Kinex as needed until the completion of the G.H. Dawe Community Centre project. Repurposing the facility was determined to not be a viable solution.

For more information on the G.H. Dawe Community Centre upgrade project visit

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Sean McIntosh

About the Author: Sean McIntosh

Sean joined the Red Deer Advocate team in the summer of 2017. Originally from Ontario, he worked in a small town of 2,000 in Saskatchewan for seven months before coming to Central Alberta.
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