Featuring state of the art fitness and sports venues plus everything from fine arts and dance studios to a library and restaurant, the Penhold Regional Multiplex is gearing up to open its doors to Central Alberta.
The sprawling $23 million complex, located just east of town off Hwy. 42, has come in on time and on budget, said Julia King, mayor of Penhold. Sod turning was held in late 2008 with construction beginning in early 2009.
“For the most part, it’s ready to go,” she said while workers carried out last-minute touch-ups before a day-long grand opening slated for this Saturday. “We’re right in the middle of Edmonton and Calgary and of course just south of Red Deer, so we see that there are a number of partnerships that we can work together on,” she said. “A lot of different events will be coming through this area, particularly with tournaments whether they be outdoor ones or hockey.
“We also have sledge-hockey opportunities within the NHL-sized arena. We can change the boards to accommodate the sledge hockey participants,” she said.
Other possible partnerships down the road could include housing the Red Deer College Kings. There are other possibilities with RDC, but they are currently all in the assessment phase, said Carey Hilz, development and project office for the Town of Penhold.
“This will tie people together, and that’s really what it’s all about. It’s a connector and that’s really been the vision since day one.”
Friday night also marks an invite-only gala for sponsors and owners.
On Saturday the public is invited to a day packed with a variety of activities to celebrate the facility’s opening. On Saturday, things get underway at 7:30 a.m. with a pancake breakfast, hot air balloon rides, monster truck rides, a kids’ fair, a car show, a barbeque, silent auctions and an outdoor stage featuring local artist Denver Daines.
Other facility highlights include a 6,000 sq.-ft. library, an NHL sized arena, a full gymnasium with bleachers and climbing wall, a walking track, a 4,500 sq.-ft. fitness facility and outdoor football and soccer fields.
This September, another special feature will be unveiled. Red Deer artist Brian McArthur is designing a massive 3,000 lb bronze relief of a pioneer family which will be located near the main entrance. Donated by Penhold area resident Steward Ford.
The Town of Penhold’s offices will all be relocated to the Penhold Regional Complex as well. King said that will be hugely convenient, as currently administration isn’t entirely centrally located.
The building covers 100,000 sq. ft. altogether.
Full programming for the entire multiplex will kick in this fall.
“This will basically just give another hub to the community,” she said of the facility. “There will be a lot of things happening here. You could spend your whole day here, basically.”
There is no charge to drop by on Saturday for a look at the multiplex, but there are admission costs to particular activities throughout the day.
“We’re very fortunate to have this not only for Penhold, but for the area as well.”
For more information, call the Town of Penhold office at 403-886-4567.