Civic Centre FAQs
Why are we considering this project now?
As our community grows, the need for investment in recreation, arts, and culture has grown. The City is taking a practical and pragmatic approach to this proposed development to ensure the impacts and benefits of such an investment would be maximized for the community. The last time a significant investment was made in indoor ice recreation in our region was 20 years ago with the TransAlta Tri Leisure Centre when the City’s population was around 16,000. Since then, our city has grown by about 130%, and our population is now more than 37,000.
Why doesn’t the Civic Centre include amenities to address more recreational needs (ie. aquatics)?
To help ensure we’re addressing the needs of our residents both now and in the future within the capacity and operational realities of the city, it is important that we take a collaborative and regional approach to this type of planning.
Together with our municipal neighbours at the Town of Stony Plain and Parkland County, we completed an Indoor Recreation Facility Strategy for the region in 2017. This strategy was developed to help understand regional needs and to guide decisions regarding indoor recreation facilities in the Tri-Municipal Region.
The strategy clearly identified the need for more arena, pool, and fitness/wellness facilities in the region. It also indicated that aquatics and other priorities would best be suited west of Spruce Grove, likely in the Town of Stony Plain.
Based on this strategy, as well as a number of other plans including the Spruce Grove Public Library’s needs assessment and the City’s Capital and Cultural plans, a concept for the Civic Centre was developed to focus on addressing the need for ice surfaces.
This Civic Centre concept was further refined through significant research and analysis as well as multiple general and targeted engagement activities dating back to 2017 and as recent as June of this year. The final design concept addresses the identified need for ice, as well as includes additional arts and culture amenities. The result is an investment in our region that will bring several amenities together in one facility, including a spectator arena, community arena, an art gallery, a black box theatre, and a branch of the Spruce Grove Public Library.
We continue to have conversations with our regional partners on advancing and sharing in the development of new services and amenities that would benefit all of our residents and visitors. The challenge we, as well as our municipal neighbours, have is balancing all of the identified recreation needs along with cultural, social services, protective services, and other infrastructure needs while trying to maintain a reasonable tax impact on our residents.
How is this being paid for?
The cost of the preliminary design work and required lands are already included within the City’s approved 2021 budgets. A significant portion of the construction cost is expected to be funded by the Province’s Municipal Sustainability Initiative, and options to minimize the financial impact to the community will be explored.
The current proposed funding model is:
|Total Project Cost||(000’s) $72,789|
|Cost Share Revenue||4,378|
|Proposed Developer Funded||21,450|
|Capital Tax Impact||4.7%|
|Operating Tax Impact||1.4%|
|Total Civic Centre Tax Impact||6.1%|
|Library Operating Tax Impact||1.3%|
How does this proposed development, specifically the black box theatre, affect the future of Horizon Stage?
The recommendation to include a black box performing arts theatre/flex space within the Civic Centre was made independently of the current situation with Horizon Stage. The Parkland School Division is currently planning options for the future of Spruce Grove Composite High School, which includes Horizon Stage, and the City is committed to having conversations with them throughout the process. Whenever their decision is made, the potential effects will likely not be seen until years after the proposed Civic Centre is built. The City is committed to maintaining a high quality arts and culture environment within our community, and that is why we are focusing on these investments within the proposed Civic Centre development.