By Todd Colin Vaughan
Courtesy of the Sylvan Lake News
The moment that Sylvan Lakers have been working towards since 2001 has finally come. The NexSource Centre is open to the public.
While the grand opening is still scheduled for later this spring, the Town of Sylvan Lake has been given the keys to the building and has begun their soft opening – beginning with a sneak peek tour on March 28th for the sponsors, volunteers, builders, architects and Town staff that made this building possible.
Mayor Sean McIntyre addressed the crowd of excited Lakers before the tours of the facility began.
“Welcome everyone to the NexSource Centre,” he said. “I am so happy to welcome you all here. This has been such a long time coming. This is the facility that we all have been working so hard on and that our community has been eagerly anticipating.”
While the building is still under some last-minute construction in some areas, the building will be open to public use on Friday, March 31st and McIntyre was thrilled to be able to thank those in attendance.
“We are really excited to show you Sylvan Lake’s new community hub,” he said.
“I want to say thank you to all the volunteers all over the room. They helped us to get this far with their time, talents and their good will. I want to thank the staff that are with us today, that have been working so hard to get the NexSource Centre ready to be open to the public. They are diligently planning our grand opening and I want to thank Clark Builders and CEI Architecture – they brought our communities vision to life.”
McIntyre took the crowd through the process involved with the creation of the NexSource Centre.
“This is a process that started back in 2001 with a feasibility study; then came the concepts; then came the public input sessions; then [Kraft] Hockeyville which really brought together the region; then strategic direction from council and then input from user groups – which has led us all to the building that we are now sitting in. We are so proud of the final result and I can’t wait for all of you to see it.”
The NexSource Centre, according to McIntyre is, “A centre for the community, by the community” and that, “None of it would be possible without the support of our great corporate citizens, led proudly and prominently by NexSource Power.”
“I cannot brag enough about them,” McIntyre explained. “This is a local company that stood up first and made a strategic investment in Sylvan Lake’s future. They took a mammoth role as the leading sponsor in what is now aptly named the NexSource Centre. They are not a multinational company, they are not some foreign entity – they are a local company with huge hearts who made a massive difference in our community. NexSource, I don’t normally wear hats, but my hat is off to you.”
McIntyre also wanted the community to know that community sponsorships are still being accepted, meaning that Sylvan Lake citizens and corporations could still have their named etched into this building.
“We are looking for more partners to make the rest of this facility possible,” he said. “As Jared (Waldo) mentioned before, staff is still moving into the building and there is a lot more work before the public opening. There is still time to get your name on a piece of this facility before the grand opening.”
Councillor Graham Parsons, who represents Sylvan Lake Minor Hockey and Sylvan Lake Hockey Camps, is overjoyed with the results of this building.
“It is just an outstanding facility,” he said. “It has everything in it that is needed. The dressing rooms are good sized and everything is just awesome.”
Parsons remembered back to when the ceiling caved in and spoke about how far the Town has come since that tough night.
“It started that night,” he explained. “There were already plans in place. I remember going to a design meeting and seeing how it will all come out in the end. Watching this has been a process that everyone has been watching throughout Town.”
The results have exceeded Parsons’ expectations and he credited all the different user groups for their patience over the last few years.
“It was a credit to the parents of all the user groups,” he said.
“They made sacrifices and travelled everywhere especially the Nauticals. That was a devastating blow to them when the pool went down. Minor Hockey, Figure Skating, Men’s Recreation Hockey and everyone else can all come back to a complete facility.”
Parsons’ is looking forward to March 30th at 8 a.m. when former Sylvan Lake Minor Hockey League players will play the first game on the new NexSource Centre ice and invites everyone to come down and see a new era of Sylvan Lake hockey at the NexSource Centre.
McIntyre added, “I want to thank everyone who has helped our community get this far. We are almost home.”