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Welcome back fellow residents of White City (and those reading from the surrounding area) for the January 2023 edition of the White City Councillor Blog. This month’s blog will focus on the Multi-Use Recreation Centre. 

The Town has concluded Stage 3 (Architectural Drawings) of the Multi-Use Recreation Centre - a significant investment in our community's future and quality of life. This stage focused on advancing detailed design development for the two arenas, combined multi-use/fieldhouse and aquatics and a core spine. This approach allows the Town to continue to advance the phases/project when we are ready and able to do so.   

The Multi-Use Recreation Center is part of the White City's Town Centre Neighbourhood Plan and would create a community hub for sports, recreation and culture. This is a huge opportunity to increase our quality of life, health, wellness, and culture. It would also support economic development for our community and help realize a vibrant Town Centre, becoming the heart of our community.  

Arising from the Spring 2021 public engagement, the project team considered the detailed design in the context of the key takeaways:

  • Be Visionary:  Consider not just today and tomorrow but the future community, being prepared for the needs of the future when the facility is fully built out. 
  • Think Beyond: Be really, REALLY multi-use - truly multipurpose of the entire facility. This facility needs to be flexible and be used by everyone, providing amenities to support a broader representation of the community; not a "sports" multi-use facility but a "community" multi-use facility. 
  • Be Adaptable: Ensure flexibility if/as things change. This means being ready to go with whichever phase makes the most sense based on community need and desire.  

This stage of the work has resulted in a design that:

  • Advances the site plan to incorporate additional amenities, adjacency to indoor activities, enhancements for vehicular and pedestrian traffic, and ensuring convenient accessible parking and access for buses and transport vehicles for events.
  • Maximizes multiple, varied, and concurrent programming opportunities, optimizing revenue opportunities, competition, and tournament capabilities throughout the facility, with consideration for safety and inclusiveness.
  • Maximizes non-sport events such as tradeshows, concerts, and major events to maximize revenue opportunities.
  • Increases food and beverage access for spectator arena, including in-arena lounge, enabling mobile food services and maximizing access for event functions, including patio lounge opportunity and touch-down area.
  • Maximizes washroom efficiency and flow, particularly in the spectator arena, with consideration for inclusiveness and accessibility throughout the facility.
  • Optimizes "crush space" on both levels to support various events, including ticketing for paid events.
  • Provides for flexibility of multi-use spaces that may be sublet/rented for a variety of purposes and to support various retail uses, including pro-shop, private fitness, physio, or food services, with some accessible external to the facility.
  • Considers design elements to optimize the attractiveness of the overall facility and its components, from seating configuration, safety site lines, and accessibility.
  • And includes a multitude of detailed design considerations, from sizing and amenities in the spectator arena to support a future Junior Hockey Team to optimizing parental support in the arenas and aquatics to optimizing the gymnasium layout to enable tournament play.

A presentation was provided to the White City Committee of the Whole on December 12, 2022 which can be viewed at beginning at minute 35:00 and updated reports will be published on in 2023.  Now that Stage 3 is complete, the Town will assess the next steps as a significant portion of the facility is intended to be funded through development and associated development levies. Progress on this project and development of the Town Centre has been impacted by wastewater capacity. Due to significant issues with the Town’s wastewater treatment capacity, substantial funding was diverted from other projects, including the Recreation Centre, to get us back on track. The Town's investment in Stage 3 represents an opportunity to advance the project (whichever phase is subsequently determined) towards being ready when the time is right. 

While no budget is allocated in the 2023 Annual Budget, in the new year Council will be considering the official next steps for this project.

If you have any questions, have a comment, want more information, or want to suggest a topic for a future blog please email or call 306-781-2355 – we look forward to hearing from you!

- Councillors Andrew Boschman, Bill Krzysik and Kris Moen

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