The Town of Coaldale is thrilled to provide updates to the new Multi-Use Recreation Facility project. Investment in recreation infrastructure, economic development, and financial resilience are key strategic priorities of the current Council term. The new Multi-Use Recreation Facility will fulfill key components of each strategic area, making Coaldale a regional recreation destination in a manner that is affordable and in a way that creates various economic spinoffs for the local economy.
Cost and Revenue
At the October 26, 2020 Regular Council Meeting, Russ Tanner, the Town’s new Director of Recreation and Community Services, presented the operational plan for the new facility. Russ provided Council with insights based on his experience building and managing these types of facilities. Highlights of the operational plan include:
• Conservative revenue assumptions projecting an annual operational surplus;
• Multiple public-private partnership opportunities which create both jobs and revenue; and
• Zero impact on future tax rates.
“The new facility will support several local sporting organizations and allow Coaldale to host and attract events which will ultimately benefit local businesses,” said Tanner. “Due in large part to the private partnerships being developed within and for the multi-use recreation facility – be that operational cost splitting or revenue from lease agreements – we are projecting an operational surplus which will give financial flexibility in the future to explore additional recreational amenities such as a pool or new sheet of ice.”
The design of the facility has been developed with direct input from community members and partner organizations, allowing for a design which meets their needs while providing the Town with significant revenue opportunities. While the projected capital construction cost for the facility is higher than previously anticipated, the new design will allow the
facility to have a higher ongoing revenue stream, paving a faster road to full cost recovery. Most importantly, the additional upfront construction expenses are not projected to have an impact on future taxes; costs will be offset through reallocating budget surpluses from other capital projects, grant funding, and revenue generated through private partnership agreements.
Design and Programming
The Town of Coaldale is also elated to announce a partnership with local business Twisted Steel Fitness Centre. Twisted Steel has committed to a memorandum of understanding that outlines a lease agreement for the 7000 square feet of dedicated fitness space in the new facility.
“Expanding into the new recreation centre will allow us to deliver an elevated level of service to our community,” said Jordan Sailer, Owner of Twisted Steel Fitness Centre. “The Town’s willingness to bring Twisted Steel on board early in the project shows their commitment to supporting local businesses and we’re looking forward to continuing this innovative partnership with them.”
The fitness area is one of several leasing opportunities that has been strategically planned to provide multi-faceted use of the space in order to achieve maximum operational efficiency in terms of cost and use of the space. In addition to the leasable space run by local private enterprise, local and regional user groups will have access to over 55,000 square feet of programmable space.
“Coaldale’s recreation centre opens up an opportunity for the development of a Sunny South Indoor League to be housed out of this facility,” said Karen Wilde, President of the Sunny South District Soccer Association. “Our vision is to partner with the local soccer organizations to make Coaldale a destination for the region’s indoor soccer community.”
The Sunny South District Soccer Association includes soccer programs from Magrath, Raymond, Stirling, Coaldale, Taber, and Brooks and often has additional program participation from other outlying communities as well.
“The fact that we’re already bringing a number of local partners into this project is a major step in realizing the vision we have for the recreation facility,” said Tanner. “We really can’t lose when we have groups like these wanting to work with the Town toward achieving a common goal.”
The facility design and potential programming abilities have been shaped by the Sports and Recreation Working Group, a formal community group that was created to provide valuable input for sports and recreation related projects and help determine the services that are desired within Coaldale from a citizen perspective.
“The Sports and Recreation Working Group has gathered a lot of ideas from a variety of residents in Coaldale that have directly influenced the design of the facility,” said Danny
Clarke, member of the Sports and Recreation Working Group. “The working group represents a prominent voice in the conversation that has helped capture the vision for the recreation facility and develop and amenity that can be used by all members of the community for years to come.”
Below is a list of potential activities that are being planned for in the design:
• Dry sports o Pickleball, indoor soccer, lacrosse, basketball, volleyball, badminton, and squash
• Exercise and fitness o Walking/running track, fitness centre with weightlifting, cardio, space for group fitness, and washrooms/locker rooms
• Childcare and play space o Daycare centre, indoor play structure, outdoor play area
• Events and breakout space o Banquets, trade shows, special events, meetings, training sessions, parties/group gatherings
“The space within the facility being developed for dry sports such as indoor soccer will be the first of its kind within Southern Alberta,” said Clarke. “The new recreation centre will give us more flexibility for affordable, year-round programming that will be accessible to all existing and future members of our growing population.”
“The multi-use recreation facility will no doubt create a sense of pride for the community,” added Tanner. “Coaldale will stand out from its neighbours as an attractive destination for families and visitors looking to be a part of our vibrant, innovative community.”