The West End of Edmonton has been in need of a large scale rec centre and library for quite a while. When door-knocking in Aldergrove, Belmead, La Perle, Lewis Estates, Rosenthal and Secord one of the most common questions I get is, “When will our rec centre be built?” When debating the 2015-2018 Capital Budget, a number of residents from various West End neighbourhoods came out to help make the case to start some of the design work on the Lewis Farms Rec Centre and Library. I want to thank Angela, Irina, Trevor, Jason and Brad for representing your communities so well. Because of their great work, Council unanimously supported moving forward with that design work. You can read about what is planned to be in the centre later in the post.
In order for Administration to develop a more accurate cost and schedule estimate, finalizing detailed design work and a funding strategy is key to starting construction of the facility and district park. I am pleased to announce that the funding for this design work was unanimously approved by City Council on May 9th. You can read the report here (item 6.2 attachment 1). An additional $17.7 million was approved to complete the design of the recreation centre, library and district park. Of this $17.7 million, $16.8 million would be funded from tax-supported debt, with an additional $0.9 million in partnership funding. As this additional phase of work is approved, timelines for completion of the profile have been extended to Third Quarter 2019. Previous funding strategy and schematic design reports can viewed here (Item 6.2).
The cost of the facility is approximately $215 million that would include the rec centre, a library and a district park. The cost estimate for the Edmonton Catholic Schools Academic Centre located on this site is $19.8 million that Edmonton Catholic will be funding entirely, including the design work for that particular centre.
This cost estimate does not include the expense of acquiring land or off-site costs such as roads, stormwater ponds or utilities, which is estimated to be about $25 million.
Schematic Design Details:
Lewis Farms Community Recreation Centre
- Aquatic facility that includes a 30 x 25 metres deep tank with 1m and 3m springboards and 5m, 7.5m and 10m dive platforms. A leisure pool with water play features, a tot pool, a 53 metres ten-lane pool, whirlpool and steam room.
- Fitness centre that includes large cardio and weight training area, two fitness studios and a non-competitive running / walking track.
- Three gymnasiums that include large playing surfaces and assembly areas that can be divided into smaller functional areas.
- Multi-purpose spaces that include an indoor child development space, child minding space, bouldering wall, and three multi-purpose rooms.
- Twin NHL-sized indoor ice rinks and outdoor leisure ice.
- Support and other ancillary services including a lobby area, washrooms, dressing rooms, food and commercial retail units, administration and storage space.
Lewis Farms Library
- An 18,000 square foot community Edmonton Public Library Branch similar to the Clareview and the Meadows Branches intended to serve the Lewis Farms Area Structure Plan.
Edmonton Catholic Schools District Academic Centre
- A 48,000 square foot Edmonton Catholic Schools District academic centre and daycare.
Lewis Farms District Park
- An urban plaza with interactive water play component
- Walkways / multi-purpose trails with lighting and seating
- Three ball diamonds
- Fixture-less rectangular sports fields, and open green space for passive park uses and unstructured active recreation
- Tennis and basketball courts
- An outdoor skateboard park
- Outdoor fitness and picnic areas
- Public washroom facilities
- City Operations satellite park operations service yard.
During the Fall Supplemental Capital Budget Adjustment, the next Council will be presented with a request to approve the funding required to acquire the necessary land. While the detailed design work could extend into 2019, the next Council will debate the funding of the construction of the entire facility in November/December 2018. As we will be nearing completion of the detailed design and land acquisition, I would hope that a decision would be made to move forward with the construction of the rec centre, library and district park. This is one of the most important projects in the West End and I look forward to seeing this become a reality in the near future.
Written by A. Knack and K. Machin