City hears update on Canada Winter Games Celebration Plaza

Celebration Plaza hoped to be completed next November

Representatives from the 2019 Canada Winter Games gave an update to the City of Red Deer at Monday night’s council meeting on the plans for the 2019 Games Celebration Plaza.

Back in September, it was decided that Central Elementary School would be extensively renovated, and that the grounds would be the Celebration Plaza during the 2019 Canada Winter Games. The school will also be renovated, and once the Games are over, will be used for the City’s Culture Services department.

“It’s an opportunity to highlight this site at Games time,” said CEO of the 2019 Canada Winter Games Scott Robinson.

He added that the Celebration Plaza project is broken down into two phases:e the Plaza Hub and the Celebration Link.

The Plaza Hub is the central core to the space, which involves the west side of Central Elementary School.

“It’s integrated into 48th Avenue with a new ramp and steps defined by a feature wall,” he said.

One of the elements included in the second phase is moving the Central Middle School playground and regrading the south link to what will become the entertainment site from the Plaza Hub.

“We’ll build new modern play spaces for the school on the south side of the Central Middle School,” said Robinson.

They will also incorporate an outdoor amphitheatre onto the southwest school site and re-fence, landscape and add celebration elements to the full grounds at the site along 48th Ave.

Lyn Radford, board chair of the 2019 Winter Games Host Society said they will now go for a development permit.

“Hopefully once that has been accepted positively then we will move forward to getting detailed design and cost construction done,” she said.

She added that in taking part in the revitalization they have an opportunity to do something positive for the community that will leave a lasting legacy.

She added that other sites were suggested for the Plaza, but they just didn’t meet the needs.

Phase one has been funded, but phase two is still being worked on, which the Sheraton Celebrity Dance Off can help with, as it’s been decided that the Games is a recipient to receive the funds. Radford said the Games still need to look into what grants are available to leverage.

She said overall they’re feeling comfortable when it comes to funding as a whole, adding that they’re at about 60 per cent of their revenue sources.

“Our target is to be at 90 per cent by June,” she said.

By January they hope to secure the final construction cost and timeline estimates from the general contractor.

In the Spring of 2018 construction will start with the goal of completing the Celebration Plaza project by their 100 days out event Nov. 5th.

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