The speedskating oval, pavilion, and other new sports facilities at Great Chief Park will be called Setters Place in recognition of a $250,000 donation from a local construction firm.
Since the family behind J.T. Setters and Sons Construction Ltd. has been in Red Deer for 70 years, it wanted to help the community it is proud of, said Casey Setters.
As soon as Red Deer was announced as host of the 2019 Canada Winter Games, “we put our name forward with the intention of getting involved,” said Casey, who followed his father Byron Setters, and grandparents, Pat and Jim Setters, into the family business.
The company, which has committed to providing $250,000 over seven years, now employs 50 people at its peak when it operates gravel trucks and heavy equipment for commercial construction projects.
Casey, general manager, said having the family name on amenities at Great Chief Park is a great legacy to his grandparents, who started the construction company in the 1950s, and always enjoyed sports.
Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer welcomed the partnership with the Setters and their generous contribution. She said “it’s the start of many exciting events at the park” over the next year.
With the addition of the skating oval, which officially opens Jan. 20, Great Chief Park will become a “four-season facility,” added Veer, who noted the opening will involve some high-profile Alberta athletes who have been invited to skate on track.
Through negotiation with the Setter family, the city has committed to providing a year of free community skating on the 400-metre oval, said Shelley Gagnon, manager of Parks, Recreation and Culture for the city.
The 16.5-hectare Great Chief Park – which is also getting a new synthetic sports field and a three-storey pavilion – is being turned into a year-round sports centre. Its spring/summer-fall facilities are baseball and softball diamonds, the Kiwanis picnic facility, pitch-and-put and horseshoe pits.
Gagnon added $12 million was needed for the design, planning, engineering and construction of the Canada Winter Games enhancements at Great Chief Park. Since the amount was already made up from municipal and federal funding, the Setters contribution will be applied to future recreation projects in Red Deer.