Curtis Martinek, City of Red Deer project superintendent, stands in front of Setters Place in Great Chief Park. The grand opening of Setters Place is Saturday at noon. (Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff)

Setters Place opens Saturday

Red Deer’s four-season sports park and pavilion opens this weekend.

Curtis Martinek, project superintendent, said there were no major hiccups in the two-year construction of Setters Place in Great Chief Park.

The outdoor synthetic sports field at Setters Place is regulation size for soccer and football and will be open from spring to fall. The 400-metre outdoor speedskating oval will be open from December to March, as long as weather cooperates.

A three-story pavilion building overlooks the field and speedskating oval. The pavilion has four modern change rooms, a media and timekeeper area, a gathering space and concessions.

Martinek said bringing a speedskating oval to Great Chief Park has been discussed since 2009 or 2010.

In 2012, a concept plan including significant upgrades to the field and the creation of an oval at Great Chief Park was developed.

Two years later, Red Deer was successful in its bid for 2019 Canada Winter Games and Great Chief Park was named the site for speedskating.

Council approved the $12 million project in 2014; with $9 million coming from the city and $3 million coming from Canada Winter Games. The construction budget was about $10 million and the rest of the money went towards things like design fees and permits.

“It’s a very nice building. I’m really happy with the way it turned out and I’m excited for people to come see it,” Martinek said.

Some materials from the old Red Deer Arena were repurposed in the pavilion, such as the benches in the locker rooms.

A few trees needed to be cut down to make room for Setters Place, which were repurposed into table tops and a “feature wall,” said Martinek.

The building exceeds the energy code requirements, Martinek added.

“The lighting fixtures are all LED, all low-flow plumbing fixtures to save water and all the products are no VOC, so the paints and sealants don’t give off any odours or anything like that,” he said.

There are still a few landscaping touch ups that will be completed in the spring.

The grand opening of Setters Place is Saturday at noon.

A speedskating competition here was originally planned for the grand opening, but the ice quality is not up to standard, said Martinek. The event was going to serve as a test event for the Canada Winter Games.

Public skating, free food, snowshoe lessons, live music and more are on tap for the public on Saturday.

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