LETHBRIDGE - The much-anticipated Phase Two of the ATB Centre, with pools, an indoor track, a fitness centre, gymnasiums, a day care, waterslides and other amenities is scheduled to open to the public this time next year.
At Monday's meeting, Project Coordinator Ashley Matthews and Project Manager Patrick Spanos provided an update to City Council on construction to date.
So far, the project is on time, and slightly under budget. The building is now completely closed in, meaning all new, anti-glare outside windows have been installed, allowing the contractors to work continuously.
HVAC, plumbing and electrical work is now under way, along with construction of all walls, floors, and the ceiling. The indoor track is being built, as are the change rooms and interior and exterior signage.
The twin waterslides are also being installed, along with a 42-person hot tub, a lazy river, teaching pool, lap pool and zero entry wave pool.
Actual construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2018, and the building will then be turned over to the city, while crews finish up any last-minute details.
"The major part of it will be training of staff. It's a huge facility, and we know the first day is going to be busy, so staff have to be ready. And so there will be a lot of training that takes place to make sure that everything's ready to go."
On any given day, Project Manager Patrick Spanos says there are between 120 and 140 people working in the building.
"The majority of them are from Lethbridge. And even the larger contractors that came in from Calgary, they usually hired local contractors here either to sub-contract with them, or clientele to work for them."
Once complete, Phase Two will primarily be a recreation and leisure facility, not a centre to be used for big competitions.
"We have lots of facilities in our community right now that can host competitions whether they'd be the high schools, the university or the college,” explains Matthews. “This is really more about the recreational and the leisure activity side of it. There will be some competition there, but it won't be high-level as such. It's not designed for that."
Matthews also expects the facility to be a destination of sorts, for people throughout southern Alberta.
Other than Calgary, he says, there isn't another centre like it in the area.
"We do believe that within a 40-60-mile range, people will come in and use this facility on a fairly frequent basis."
At Monday's meeting, Councillor Joe Mauro asked about the cost for families and individuals to use the new centre, and whether it will be subsidized by the city.
Matthews explained that for a yearly membership, it would cost the average family about $1,100 per year, while for a single membership it will be around $600 a year. The city will subsidize the facility for the first several years until the operation can turn a profit.
As for daily rates?
"The day admissions haven't been established as of yet, but when we look at other facilities within Alberta similar to this one, you're looking at for an adult, probably in the range of $10-$12 dollars for the day. And that's a day admission. You get to use all the amenities within the facility, not just aquatics, for example. Children would be around $5 a day."
The YMCA will operate out of the building, re-locating from its downtown location to the ATB Centre. A readiness committee has been and hiring of senior staff is already underway. The remainder of the staff will be hired in late Dec. 2018, and in early 2019.
There will also be commercial and retail space in Phase Two, including a health and wellness centre, a food and beverage outlet, and a retail store, that haven't been named yet.
Construction on the project began in May 2016 with $111,100,000 in funding from the City’s Capital Improvement Program (CIP) and funds provided by the YMCA. So far, the project is just over $500,000 under budget.
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