Red Deer‘s G.H. Dawe Community Centre now has federal and provincial contributions. (Advocate file photo).

Red Deer‘s G.H. Dawe Community Centre now has federal and provincial contributions. (Advocate file photo).

Ottawa grants $15 million towards Red Deer’s G.H. Dawe Recreation Centre expansion

Federal, provincial funds added, but municipal contribution is not yet approved

The federal and provincial governments have contributed their shares toward the $42-million expansion of Red Deer’s G.H. Dawe Centre, but the full municipal portion hasn’t yet been approved.

More than $15 million of federal funding was earmarked this week for the project. This was added to the $12.6 million in provincial Municipal Sustainability Initiative funding that was already expected.

But as for the City of Red Deer’s share of the funding — anticipated to total about $14.3 million, if the expansion’s entire scope goes ahead — it has not yet been green-lighted.

The amount will be discussed by city council in November as part of 2021 capital budget talks, said acting city manager Paul Goranson.

There was some discussion during the last city budget about whether the project will have to be scaled down, given the tight fiscal reality the city is facing.

If the full scope of the project is approved, it would increase existing space at the Dawe by 7,200 square metres.

The south ice rink surface would be expanded to regulation NHL standard size and barrier-free access seating will be added.

The existing rink would be twinned to create a second ice surface that’s barrier free for sledge hockey. There would be enhancing seating for patrons with accessible needs and upgrades to change rooms, with the addition of a universal change room.

The ice plant would be modernized and a new spray park added. There would be a second-floor running track, exercise studios and flex space.

Half an acre of trees was already pulled down last spring to clear the way for expansion of G.H. Dawe Community Centre.

The tree removal was done to allow for underground utility work to get started. City council had previously approved $5 million for this part of the project.

Further aspects of the centre’s expansion were pegged to happen sometime between 2021 and 2029, if approved.

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