Work continues on the new Abbey Centre Field House in Blackfalds. The new facility will feature an outdoor swimming pool

Blackfalds weeks away from opening Abbey Centre Field House

Blackfalds residents are two months away from being able to get fit in a fresh, fancy facility.

Blackfalds residents are two months away from being able to get fit in a fresh, fancy facility.

The finishing touches are being applied to the interior of the Abbey Centre, a multipurpose exercise and recreation facility located in the town’s west end.

The $15-million centre is expected to open to the public on March 17, offering up a gymnasium, fitness centre, running track, separate walking track and indoor play space for children.

There will also be community meeting rooms in the centre and child minding service will be offered for parents enjoying the amenities.

The complex will also feature outdoor aquatic elements in the form of a lane pool, hot tub, two waterslides leading into another pool, and a spray park. Facility general manager Rick Kreklewich said the goal is to open those elements in time for the May long weekend.

To coincide with that full opening, Juno award-winner Serena Ryder will perform at the Abbey Centre on May 24. Tickets are $38 and available at the town office.

Presale memberships for the facility are also available through the town office, available on monthly and annual bases.

If the fundraising campaign to buy equipment for the Abbey Centre fitness space is any indication, the sparkling new facility will be well patronized by denizens.

The Blackfalds Field House Society started in 2009 with a goal to raise $750,000 for the purchase of fitness equipment. With a few months to go before the facility opens and the committee disbands, the group is looking at possibly surpassing its goal two times over.

“We’re closing in on $1.5 million,” said society president Carol Simpson, “$750,000 is a lot of money, especially for a small group — our membership has never exceeded 20 people — so to double it, we’re very proud of that. We’ve worked hard.”

The group has run a number of fundraisers, some on an annual basis, and has received a bevy of donations.

The allocation of naming rights for different parts of the facility has brought in a lot of cash as well — Abbey Master Builder paid $500,000 for 10 years of naming rights for the facility as a whole.

The society will host its fourth annual GST (Goods, Services and Talents) Auction in March. Last year, over $10,000 was raised through the auctioning off of more than 150 items, from cinnamon buns to car detailings.

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