After undergoing renovations for two years, the G.H. Dawe Centre reopened its doors on Tuesday.
The cost of the project is $29.9 million and is now one third of the size larger than the original facility.
To celebrate the reopening of the facility, two local families were named the winners of the City’s First Ride Down the Slide Contest.
Kyle Reed and his wife Kai-Li along with their children Andy, 11, Andrea, 5, and Elijah, 2, as well as Marilyn Davis and her foster children Julia, Amanda and Taylee were the first to try out the two new waterslides in the aquatics area of the Dawe Centre on Tuesday.
“It was pretty neat to be one of the first to go down the slide,” said Kyle. “The kids couldn’t wait to get down the slide. It was a pretty fun experience for the family.”
He added he is impressed by the new facility.
“It’s just gorgeous,” said Kyle. “We were here about a month before it closed and now it’s got space for everything and space for everyone to do their own thing. It’s really nice.”
The Reed family, who lives on the City’s north end, is excited to have a state-of-the-art facility close to their home.
“We’ll be here quite often I think,” said Kyle.
Davis said her foster children were excited to be one of the first to try out the new waterslides at the Dawe Centre.
“It’s all about making memories for them,” said Davis. “I wanted to show them that they are important to me.”
She added now that the new facility is open, she anticipates her family will frequent it a lot.
“The girls really like the Collicutt Centre because of the waterslides, but now we’ll be here often as the Dawe Centre has the two slides,” said Davis.
The revitalized and expanded community centre boasts five pool basins, including a kid’s play pool, leisure pool, spray pool, large hot tub and a refurbished four lane lap pool.
It also features two waterslides, a sauna, steam room, three multipurpose rooms, full multifaceted gymnasium, fitness and workout space and food services.
The new facility also offers a new child minding area.
The revitalized Dawe branch of the Red Deer Public Library offers integrated program space that accommodates children, teen, adult and family literacy programs in a much larger space.
The library is 47% larger in size. It also includes a fireplace and large windows. The library has its own entrance to the outside of the facility as well as access inside.
One addition to the ice arena is a wheel-chair accessible elevator that will take spectators who are unable to access the stairs up to the viewing area.
The pool also has a lift for those who are unable to access the pool by using the stairs.
Computers for Internet access, self-check out machines, a comfortable lounge area with a fireplace and a brand new collection of books, CDs and DVDs will be available.
The Dawe Centre has controlled faucets and showers, high efficiency fixtures, flow controlled urinals and dual flush toilets. There are new heat recovery systems in place and there are also high efficiency boilers and pumps.
The landscaping on the site is also water efficient.
Sustainable building principles were applied throughout the reconstruction phase of the project.
Using certified glulam wood beams and purlins in the pool area encourages responsible forest management, officials said.
Low emitting materials, such as paints, glues, adhesives and flooring materials were utilized during the renovations to reduce the amount of odorous and irritating, indoor air containments.
“This facility was in a desperate state of repair,” said June Larson, the City’s recreation facility supervisor. “Things were breaking down and the construction and materials that were used years ago aren’t as good as what they are now. It wasn’t an energy efficient building.
“Now we have a bright, open and inviting facility that will serve the citizens of Red Deer for many years to come.”
While the G.H. Dawe Centre is now open to the public, the official reopening event will take place Sept. 25 and will feature a ceremony, guided tours of the facility, a barbeque and free activities for all families.
For more information about the G.H. Dawe Community Centre revitalization visit www.reddeer.ca/dawe.