Red Deer has applied for federal funding to help pay for the expansion of G.H. Dawe Community Centre once the project is added the city’s capital budget. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSK/Advocate staff)

Summer camps and water fun at G.H. Dawe centre

Federal funding sought for expansion

Red Deer hopes the federal government will help add another ice rink and an outdoor spray park to G.H Dawe Community Centre.

Funding the expansion of the north-end recreation centre is one of four projects the city is submitting to the Investing in Canada infrastructure grant program.

The project, estimated at $35-million in 2016, also includes modernizing the existing rink to NHL-size, expanding program and fitness spaces in the facility, and an access road and parking lot off 67th Street.

“Access to the facility would be re-oriented to the north. Right now there is no access off of 67th Street. It’s a significant amount of work, but we know that to increase the size of that facility we need to improve access,” said the city’s recreation superintendent Barb McKee.

The community centre was built in the early 80s, and updated in 2010 with indoor water park amenities, dance and fitness studio spaces, family change rooms, a fitness centre with a view to the pool, and new food court.

She said the rink does not operate in the summer so the pace of activity has slowed down, but it’s a well-used facility with lots of demand for its services.

“It does get a lot of summer use in the pool area especially if the weather’s inclement, or super hot. It’s a great place to go to cool off. We see a lot of summer camp activities in that facility. The gym is heavily used, probably more in evenings and weekends.”

McKee said for now the project is at the high level concept stage. Detailed planning is scheduled for 2022, with construction to begin in 2024, both upon approval of council.

Red Deer Public Library has a branch at the centre and St. Patrick’s Community School and G.H. Dawe School are also connected to the centre. Sports fields include playground structures and new cricket grounds.

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