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Excitement builds as Abbey Centre nears opening date

Despite pushing the opening date by a month, excitement is building for Blackfalds’ newest amenity - the Abbey Centre.
PROGRESS - Rick Kreklewich

Despite pushing the opening date by a month, excitement is building for Blackfalds’ newest amenity - the Abbey Centre.

Rick Kreklewich, manager for Abbey Centre, said that even though the opening date of the facility, originally slated for February, has been moved to March 7, it is a small setback considering the scale of the project and the community is still looking forward to the Abbey Centre opening its doors.

He added that it is hard to pin down what people are most looking forward to about the new facility.

Mostly, it seems that people are impressed for all the Abbey Centre will have to offer especially consider the size of the town it is located in.

“They are just going to be more impressed as we get closer to opening.”

A few minor issues with the outdoor pool, flooring inside the building and data lines set back the opening of the facility. However, Kreklewich said he thought that things were going well, especially after the positive response from the sneak-a-peak event on Jan. 22.

About 800 people showed up to view the Abbey Centre prior to its doors opening.

Kreklewich said several in attendance were impressed by what the facility has to offer and there has been a lot of positive chatter on Facebook as well.

Some features he highlighted were the fitness centre, which will include state-of-the-art equipment and the indoor playground, which has a tower-like play structure 28’ high. He said the indoor playground in particular has received a lot of positive comments.

Kreklewich said that it isn’t just inside the inside of the facility people should be excited for, its outside as well. In addition to the field house, indoor playground, running track, fitness centre and other amenities inside the building, there will be outdoor fitness equipment, outdoor playground and an amphitheatre.

“We trying to make it, basically like your one-stop-shop for recreation.”

Recently, the Town of Blackfalds received $50,000 from the Alberta Blue Cross Healthy Communities Grant Program to go towards the purchase of the outdoor fitness equipment (similar to the kind recently installed around Cranna Lake).

Kreklewich said that while the Town already had the budget for the equipment, the grant will help them keep the cost of the project down.

Construction of the building is nearly complete. Kreklewich said that now it is the finer details that are being worked on such as the moving in of office furniture, installing of concession and signage in and outside of the building. Final walkthroughs and fire inspections are also still to come.

There are also staff to hire and train. Kreklewich said that is being done right now so the facility will be up and running come March.