Dawe Community Centre project gets funding approval from city council

Today during budget deliberations, council approved the 2021 Capital Budget for $218.7 million. As part of the multi-year budgets, funding for improvements to the G.H. Dawe Community Centre was approved by city council. The enhancements will improve access, increase opportunity to modernize fitness and programming, provide additional outdoor amenities including a spray park and washroom facilities, and modernize the current ice surface and add a second surface.

The addition of a second ice surface is in replacement of the current Kinex Arena, which is at the end of its life and will begin to be decommissioned as no further capital funding was approved for repairs and replacements for Kinex Arena.

The total budget for the Dawe project is $43.3 million with just over $15.1 million in Federal funding through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) grant and $12.9 million from the Province of Alberta through Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) funding. Today, city council approved the 2021 and 2022 municipal portion of the project budget for $7.566 million, having approved $7.739 million in previous capital budgets.

The modernization/improvement of the G.H. Dawe Community Centre focuses on the following areas/aspects of the facility, which were not upgraded as part of the G.H. Dawe Community Centre Revitalization Project in 2008. The options for modernization/improvements that City Council approved are as follows:

  • To meet ice user needs with the decommissioning of the Kinex Arena:
    • modernization of the existing ice surface to NHL standard size
    • twinning of existing arena
    • relocate underground services to facilitate the twin
  • To meet parking, site servicing and egress requirements:
    • introduce right in and right out site access off of 67 Street for improved traffic flow and parking
    • create facility access on the north side of the facility
  • To align with Phase 2 of the 2007 G.H. Dawe Master Plan:
    • review fitness/programming and barrier-free access opportunities
    • outdoor spray park and outdoor washroom facility

As this is a replacement project, twinning of an additional second ice surface at the G.H. Dawe Community Centre would trigger the decommissioning of the Kinex Arena, which is reaching the end of its life.

“Proceeding with the G.H. Dawe Community Centre project right now enables the community to benefit from economies of scale while stimulating our local economy at a time when our community needs it most,” said Mayor Tara Veer.

“We are in the position of having predictable Federal and Provincial funding in place, and approval of the municipal portion ensures we can maintain the current asset, while ensuring sustained levels of service for our user groups, citizens and the community as a whole. There will also be operational efficiencies realized by decommissioning the Kinex which is not in the public interest to repair.”

Construction on the facility will begin in 2021 with completion of the additional second ice surface triggering the decommissioning of the Kinex Arena. Under the requirements of the Federal ICIP grant, the project must be complete by Oct. 31, 2027.

The G.H. Dawe Community Centre is a community hub for citizens living in north Red Deer and across the city. The facility is shared by the G.H. Dawe Community School, the G.H. Dawe Branch of the Red Deer Public Library, and St. Patrick’s Community School.

Capital and Operating Budget deliberations will continue tomorrow and Friday.