Mackenzie Recreation Centre Project Ready to Move Forward
Mackenzie, B.C.- The development of an upgraded recreation centre for Mackenzie has strong community support says Mackenzie Mayor Pat Crook.
“We recently had a by election and of the top three ( of five candidates) two had campaigned publicly in support of the project , between the two of them they got 70% of the vote, so I see that as validation of the project.”
Crook says there is work being done with the curling club to find some way to accommodate their needs because the existing curling rink will be decommissioned “We’re trying to do something, it’s unfortunate that they ( the curling club) are just starting to make a resurgence. They had 45 people who curled more than three times, and that was better than the year before. The curling rink itself is just falling apart on a daily basis. The ice plant hasn’t worked in two years, it’s being piggy backed off the arena ice plant and it ( the arena ice plant) wasn’t made for that. We’ve had several tube failures for the coolants.”
Crook says if the District of Mackenzie tried to bring the curling rink back up to specs “We’d be looking at several million dollars.” He says the District would be better off trying to find money to build a new one, after the Recreation Centre project has been completed.
The budget for the new recreation/community hall complex is about $7 million dollars. Mackenzie has secured $5.5 million in grants and $1.5 million from the community forests. “I think the project is the best for the community, and Council is moving forward”. But the Mayor says the project is not without controversy “The petition going around town was asking ‘are you in favour of a curling rink AND a community hall, we deserve both’ so it wasn’t a community hall OR a curling rink, it was both, so I would have signed that petition.”
He says the issue is an emotional one for some, “They’ve put a lot of energy into that curling club over the years to keep it going, and I can understand that completely. But the project is going forward.”
Phase one of the project saw a number of improvements made including:
- energy efficiency,
- exterior building upgrades,
- lighting upgrades to the arena and library,
- new hockey change rooms.
Phase two of the project will see:
- Water-saving plumbing fixtures,
- accessibility upgrades,
- additional sprinklers for fire safety,
- the construction of a new multi-purpose community hall in place of a decommissioned curling rink,
- energy conservation measures such as upgrades to the exterior insulation of the pool building,
- pool and library heating,
- air conditioning upgrades, as well as
- an improved lobby-office-concession area
- a relocated and improved children’s play centre.
Construction is expect to start in the late spring or early summer and take 14 – 18 months to complete.