Sunday, 7 June 2015

Aquatic Centre Where?

Hey everyone,

There are two topics in this post that I will be sharing.

First:

This last weekend Krystal and I were busy hosting an obstacle course for the Central Alberta Children's Festival. We have done something like this 3 times over the last 4 years because it is really a lot of FUN! We have kids of our own and our philosophy is that kids need to be able to run, jump, crawl and explore! So that is why we love designing this obstacle course for the festival!

The kids are drawn in by the vibrant colours and the interesting objects that we set out for them. The obstacle course started with a hopscotch. Then there was an army crawl, tires to jump through, hoops, balance beams and a tunnel at the end. We put a strong focus on making use of all the space we were given to create a safe and welcoming environment!

I am very grateful for all the volunteers who worked hard to make this event possible! Also I am grateful to Wrenchmasters for letting us borrow their tires!

Second:

Every year the festival is held at Rotary Recreation Park behind the downtown Recreation Centre. It is a beautiful location with many old trees that give the area picturesque feeling. Natural sites in our city; especially in our downtown will become more and more valuable as our city grows. The appraisal will be calculated in property value as well as cultural and environmental metrics.

I understand that this site will be the location of the future 50 meter pool and aquatic centre. I am very nervous that this location will be negatively impacted if the recreation centre is in fact expanded into this green space. The idea of paving large swaths of this heritage site under to make way for a parking lot and expanded recreation centre seems imprudent to me.

I am open to being persuaded that building the pool there is in fact a good thing, but I think Red Deerians would be best served if we were to select a greenfield site for this new construction and leave the recently renovated Recreation Centre as is. A good site would be somewhere on the north end, perhaps Hazlet Lake just north of highway 11A when that area becomes developed into residential as is currently being planned. It could be built right beside a new highschool that could service the town of Blackfalds too! But maybe I'm just a silly dreamer.

Now I know that building on a new site would be substantially more expensive and I know that the current outdoor pool will be shut down in a few years either way. Also I understand that there is an argument that it will be too expensive to operate the current recreation centre as well as a new centre somewhere else. So maybe this is the best solution but it is hard to keep all that in mind while walking through that wonderful park. 

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