The Town of Blackfalds, the fourth fastest growing community in Canada, has taken another step to add a recreational field house to its list of amenities.
Town council passed a borrowing bylaw on Tuesday night that will allow them to borrow $10 million of the $15 million projected for the facility. The fieldhouse will be the home to various recreational activities such as indoor play spaces for a variety of sports, walking and running tracks, pools, fitness equipment and lease spaces for local businesses.
“We are still working on a number of fundraisers and grants so we hopefully don’t have to borrow that much,” Mayor Melodie Stol said on Wednesday.
“We are going to use the Municipal Stainability Fund money we receive to pay the debenture.”
The Town of Blackfalds has paid for and designated the land for the site north of Womacks Road and has also funded road access. It will be looking to their partners in Lacombe County for their support with the fieldhouse at a council meeting on Feb. 23.
“There are no grants to be had that we are aware of,” Stol said.
The field house was identified by a needs assessment in 2000 and once again in 2008.
“A large overwhelming population took part in that assessment and identified the need for a facility of this type,” Field House Society president Carol Simpson said on Wednesday. Simpson adds that the community is now home to 6,400 people.
“A field house gives us the opportunity to host larger events like banquets, ceremonies and graduations,” she said.
The town and the society are hoping that construction for the facility will start this summer so completion can be scheduled for 2014. The facility will be the first indoor portion of the Trans Canada Trail, a proposed 18,078-km corridor.
The tender will be ready in the next six to eight weeks and an 18-month construction schedule is projected, Stol said.
They will also see that the facility gets a Shadow Leed Silver rating for environmental efficiency, which should have a good impact on operating costs.
To help with the costs of the facility, the society will host its second annual Goods, Services and Talents Auction on March 10 at the Blackfalds Community Hall. The society has set a goal to raise $750,000 and has raised around $350,000 so far.
New this year, the fundraiser will feature a version of Storage Wars, where people can bid on two separate lockers. Community members will register at the door and will get a bid number for the live auction. There is no fee to attend and doors open at 5:30 p.m.