The Blackfalds Field House is no more.
Last week, the mayor of Blackfalds, along with members of the Blackfalds Field House Society and others involved in the field house project gathered at the construction site of the formerly named Blackfalds Field House to unveil the building’s official name, the Abbey Master Builder Centre.
Abbey Master Builder donated $500,000 for the rights to name the building. President of Abbey Master Builder Art Anastasi, who attended the ceremony with his wife Gail, said that it felt good to repay Blackfalds for its support.
“We’re very proud, it’s kind of a legacy,” said Art.
“We have built several hundred homes in Blackfalds and Blackfalds has been extremely good to us. It’s nice to give something back to the community.”
It was clearly an emotional occasion for all who had been involved and Mayor Melodie Stol struggled not be overcome as she thanked Anastasi for the generous donation. Yet, the strongest emotion of all was joy.
The decision to build a field house in Blackfalds came after a community needs survey done by the Town suggested that Blackfalds needed a pool, a fitness centre, more spaces for physical activity and more places for families to go, said Stol. That knowledge led to the formation of the Blackfalds Field House Society who decided that the solution was to fundraise towards building a multi-use facility for Blackfalds, which then became the Abbey Master Builder Centre, added Stol.
“I basically think everything that is going into this facility is meeting an unmet need,” Stol said.
The Abbey Master Builder Centre will house several facilities once it is complete. There is the field house portion that can house a variety of sports. For young children, there is an indoor play area which can be viewed from the large fitness centre above so parents can keep an eye on them while they work out. Those who prefer to walk for their exercise can do so on the top level of the building on the running track. The building will also include multi-purpose rooms.
Stol said these could be used for fitness classes, like yoga or spin-classes, once completed.
Outside the building, there is the aquatic centre complete with swimming pools, a splash park and giant waterslides. There is also an outdoor playground and an amphitheatre. The Centre will also house the first known indoor/outdoor link of the Trans Canada Trail. Once completed, the section of the trail running from Lacombe to Red Deer will run right through the facility, said Stol. She added that they are still looking for sponsorship for that part of the building.