Red Deer’s Northside Community Centre is a place where families can experience community life, says Mayor Tara Veer.
The grand opening of the new facility, located on the corner of Taylor Drive and 77th Street, was held Wednesday afternoon.
“North Red Deer has lacked infrastructure in community centres for many, many years. This facility has been envisioned for about a decade,” said Veer.
“Historically, north Red Deer hasn’t had the same level of amenities, but we have a lot of population in north Red Deer and we certainly wanted to provide a facility that would build community life.”
Veer grew up in Normandeau, which is one of the neighbourhoods that will benefit from the new facility. She said she would’ve loved to have a facility like this as a child.
“Having this amenity would have been an incredible place for us to establish friendships, to learn new skills and experience community life and connect to Red Deer in a different way,” she said.
The multi-use facility features event rental spaces, arts and culture programs, youth programs, a teaching kitchen and rooftop patio, a gymnasium, a fitness studio and more.
The city will remain the owner of the facility, while the YMCA will be responsible for all aspects of operating the new amenity.
Nick Parkinson, president and CEO of the YMCA of Northern Alberta, said he’s excited the group will have a presence in Red Deer.
“We’ve been absent from this community for 30 years, and we’ve always believed there’s a place for the Y here,” Parkinson said.
The centre opened July 2, with the YMCA running summer day camps and weekly teen nights. Group fitness with childminding, open gym time and the drop-in youth centre will be available Aug. 1.
Veer said the YMCA helps get all children involved.
“They’ve removed many financial barriers, enabling kids who otherwise might not be able to participate in community recreation or culture programming.
“For kids to succeed in life, we need to connect them and set them up for success in their formative years. We fully expect to see the return on that for many years to come.”
For more information on the Northside Community Centre, visit www.reddeer.ca/ncc.