Blackfald’s Abbey Centre to open in early 2014

It’s just around the corner and it’s going to be amazing.

RICK KREKLEWICH

It’s just around the corner and it’s going to be amazing.

The Abbey Master Builder Centre, affectionately known as the Abbey Centre is Blackfald’s new fieldhouse facility that is set to open early in 2014.

In only a few months, residents of Blackfalds and the surrounding area will get to experience the sense of awe and ingenuity those already involved with the project have had the privilege of experiencing. When complete, the $18 million facility will include an indoor playground, fieldhouse gymnasium, fitness centre, outdoor aquatic centre, running track, program room, fitness studios, outdoor playground and an outdoor amphitheatre.

It will truly be one of Central Alberta’s premiere recreational facilities and a destination venue for several families in the area.

The idea for the project started with a community needs assessment survey performed by RC Strategies in 2008. In the assessment, the community expressed a need for indoor spontaneous use facilities including a pool, fitness centre, walking track, gymnasium and indoor playground.

The needs assessment was presented to council and in June of 2009, Councillor Carol Simpson assisted in the formation of the Blackfalds Fieldhouse Society to fundraise for the project.

The Society approached the Town of Blackfalds for support and soon after RC Strategies was contracted again to develop a business plan for the facility. Architecture ATB provided the design and Manshield Construction was hired to build the facility and now, we are on the cusp of experiencing all the opportunities the Abbey Centre will have to offer.

Everyone will be rewarded from the extensive amount of planning and fundraising put forth for this project.

Thus far, the facility has received a tremendous amount of financial support for the project. When the Blackfalds Fieldhouse Society first met, they created a goal of raising $750,000 toward the project.

They have since almost doubled their expectations, raising close to $1.5 million. A significant portion of that funding came through the overall naming rights of the facility with Abbey Master Builder being the overall facility sponsor.

A sponsorship package was created for all of the amenities within the Abbey Centre as well. McKay Ranch sponsored the outdoor aquatic centre that will be a popular summertime attraction for the facility.

Border Paving Ltd. sponsored the fitness centre which will have spectacular views and full of natural light. One of the most featured attractions for all ages, the indoor running track was sponsored by Cottonwood Meadows.

The indoor playground area which will be full of children and families was sponsored by the Kinsmen Club of Red Deer.

Pebble Pushes Gravel Co. sponsored the outdoor playground, Servus Credit Union sponsored the multipurpose program room and the Blackfalds Agricultural Society sponsored the outdoor amphitheatre. The strong community support and the hard work of the dedicated members of the Blackfalds Fieldhouse Society is a true testament to how a community can achieve success when working together.

Although the Abbey Centre is 80% complete and on schedule, there is still a lot of work remaining. The completion of the indoor amenities, purchasing of equipment, hiring of staff and all the wonderful things that come with opening a new facility are in the works.

Plans are already underway to set up some new and exciting programs so everyone can utilize this incredible facility to its fullest. Programs will consist of drop-in sports, clinics, summer camps, yoga, fitness programs, spin classes, art classes and much more. The opportunities are endless.

There will also be a lot of pool fitness programs and swimming lessons being offered as well in the summer months. Parents will also be able to take advantage of the child-minding services being provided at the facility so they can work out or attend an evening program. So stay tuned and get ready for the opening of this fabulous facility in 2014.

Rick Kreklewich is the general manager of the Abbey Centre.

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