Fieldhouse excites in Blackfalds

A fitness centre, indoor playground, banquet and meeting space. A walking track and gymnasium.

A fitness centre, indoor playground, banquet and meeting space.

A walking track and gymnasium.

And let’s not forget about the outdoor swimming pool.

The new multi-use fieldhouse and some of its above attributes is hot on the lips of almost every Blackfalds resident.

It’s definitely one of the most exciting up and coming things for the town, said Carol Simpson, the Blackfalds Field House Society president.

Construction is slated to kick off later this summer and as of now, the $15-million fieldhouse should be opening its doors by early 2014, said Simpson.

“It’s going to be a place that really ties everyone together, a community hub,” she said.

According to Simpson, it’s the one place people can not only book for meetings and big family functions but also go to work out or have play dates with their children.

It will have everything, she said.

A consistently growing community, the town needed a big space like this, she added.

“It’s also going to act as an economic draw for people considering moving to Blackfalds as well as businesses looking to set up shop.”

The society is aiming to raise $750,000 for the fieldhouse and so far they have over $400,000, thanks to donations and sponsors.

Simpson said they’re grateful for all their sponsors, from Cottonwood Meadows to the Red Deer Kinsmen and the Blackfalds District Agricultural Society who feel the fieldhouse is a community priority.

The City of Lacombe approved a $750,000 donation to the fieldhouse at their June 14 council meeting.

Blackfalds originally asked for $3 million as the fieldhouse will be used by county residents as well. Lacombe will discuss further funding for the project after it completes its own major recreation plan next spring.

Fundraising is ongoing and most recently, the society applied for an Alberta Culture $125,000 grant from their Community Facility Enhancement Program.

“We won’t know if we’ve got that grant for a few months but we’re hopeful as we meet all the criteria,” said Simpson.

“It would be another great boost.”

Designs for the fieldhouse were drawn up by ATB Architecture of Edmonton.

Council awarded Man-Shield Construction the contract to build the fieldhouse at the June 26 meeting. Council approved the company’s budget of $15,215,724 with a five per cent contingency of $760,786.20.

The motion was carried unanimously.

The new fieldhouse will be built at 4500 Womacks Rd., directly on the TransCanada Trail, which is part of the world’s longest network of trails.

rfrancoeur@bprda.wpengine.com