by : Stuart York,
Recreation and Culture, City of Lethbridge
1987. Canada is preparing to host the Olympics in Calgary, Brian Mulroney is Prime Minister in Ottawa, Ronald Reagan is asking Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall and Wayne Gretzky is leading the Oilers to their third Stanley Cup. Somewhere in Nova Scotia a kid named Sid is being born who turns out to be a decent hockey player. In Lethbridge in ‘87, 60,000 people call the City home and the fifth community arena, Nicholas Sheran has just opened.
Fast forward 22 years and Canada is again hosting a Winter Olympics, Sidney Crosby has grown up in to Gretzky’s legacy as the dominant Canadian hockey personality and international affairs still dominate the news, though the players have changed. Since 1987 Lethbridge has grown 28% to 84,000 people, but the community arena inventory remains at 5. Not for much longer however, to the benefit of all ice users in Lethbridge.
On January 19, the City of Lethbridge hosted a meeting of all ice arena users to discuss the proposed Twin Ice facility that is slated to open in fall of 2012. Approximately 50 different people, representing a wide variety of groups attended, listened to the presentations and asked questions of City staff about the proposed facility.
Some of the information learned by the community included:
* A twin ice complex is the preferred model
* Final site selection is not complete; however the west side is preferred
* The City of Lethbridge has budget dollars of $26.3 million set aside for this project
* No existing arenas will be closed as a result of this construction
The next steps include the establishment of a steering committee for the project from community members and City Staff. That committee will then select an architect to write a functional plan and preliminary design based on user needs. That initial plan will be used to gain feedback from the community before proceeding to detailed design in 2010 and construction in 2011.
For more information contact Stuart York, General Manager, Recreation and Culture, City of Lethbridge 403-320-3991.
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