Multiplex moving ahead

Town of Sylvan Lake’s plans to redevelop its multiplex recreational facility remain on track. Council approved going ahead with detailed design on Monday and set a maximum budget of $16.5 million for the facility.

Town of Sylvan Lake’s plans to redevelop its multiplex recreational facility remain on track.

Council approved going ahead with detailed design on Monday and set a maximum budget of $16.5 million for the facility.

The project involves replacing the arena and redeveloping the facility to include a four-lane indoor running track, child activity area, seniors and civic events centres, and other meeting, administration and concession areas.

Sylvan Lake Mayor Susan Samson said the town is proposing to borrow $7.9 million for the facility and tap into another $4.5 million from its reserves and through government grants. It is also hoped that $3.1 million will come from neighbouring summer villages and counties and $2.5 million can be raised through donations, sponsors and user groups.

Council looked at three conceptual designs before settling on the one chosen.

During the planning process, a proposal to include a new curling rink as part of the facility was dropped.

Instead, the town has proposed spending up to $1.5 million to renovate the existing five-sheet curling rink. A report to council says renovating to create a new four-rink facility is the most cost-effective of three options reviewed.

“The dilemma is that is not the preferred option of the curling club,” she said.

The local curling club favours a six-sheet facility.

Samson said the issue has been sent back to the club for further discussion.

“The reason we stepped back away from it is because what council’s vision was for the curling rink does not align with what the curling people actually want,” she said.

“So this opens the door for an opportunity to fundraise to a greater extent to build the six sheets of ice that they want.”

Curling club board member John Walsh said the town’s $1.5 million is a “jolly good start” and now the club must discuss how best to replace the 60-year-old rinks with something that meets the community’s needs.

The success of fundraising will play a large role in determining what shape the new facility takes and whether it will house six sheets. It would likely cost somewhere around $2 million to build a six-sheet facility.

“If we can’t raise the funds we may be looking at four sheets. But we are being optimistic in saying we’re going to be raising the funds for six sheets.

“This is a great opportunity to see what the curling community can achieve.”

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