CIVIC CENTRE UPDATE: Council approves project at June 13, 2022, Council meeting
Council unanimously agreed to approve the project with a budget of $72.8 million. The funding sources for the project are Municipal Sustainability Initiative funding, proposed cost share revenue, proposed Municipal and Developer funded borrowing, and reserves.
“A tremendous amount of research and engagement has brought us to this point and, ultimately, to this decision,” said Mayor Jeff Acker. “This is an exciting step for our residents, our user groups, and our entire community as we make this significant investment in the future of our city. We look forward to moving ahead with this project and will continue to keep residents informed as we plan the next steps.”
Throughout this process, the City has worked closely and consulted with stakeholders, subject matter experts, and residents to develop the current concept for the Civic Centre, which is focused on meeting the following goals:
- Address the need for ice.
- Do more than a basic arena, but less than an event centre.
- Address other culture and community needs.
- Minimize costs where possible (focus on functionality).
The concept for the Civic Centre project was originally proposed as a Multi-use Sport and Event Centre. In response to ongoing stakeholder feedback and a community needs assessment, as well as the financial implications of a larger Event Centre concept, the City re-evaluated the vision for the facility to become a more community-focused, multi-purpose Civic Centre that would help fulfill the needs of sports, recreation, arts, and culture. This facility was rebranded as the Civic Centre.
Amenities of the current proposed Civic Centre model include a spectator arena, a community arena, a satellite location for the Spruce Grove Public Library, a black box theatre, an art gallery and dedicated program room, a community walking track, and a co-located transit Park and Ride.
Construction is expected to begin later this fall.
Spruce Grove Saints update
As part of the funding model for the spectator arena, the Spruce Grove Saints were asked to make an investment in the facility for Saints-specific amenities, such as a private dressing room, enhanced centre score clock and any other requests specific to their needs that were above those considered to be for community use.
The City is making significant investments in the spectator arena that will provide a variety of benefits and uses for the community at large as well as, based on research, provide a suitable venue for elite level hockey. City officials and the Saints have had ongoing conversations about a concept for the spectator arena that would both work for the Saints, while also being responsible with taxpayer dollars.
The Saints have indicated to the City that the spectator arena will not meet their needs based on their intended business model. The Saints were looking at the possibility of investment based on the original concept of an Event Centre; however, they have indicated that an investment in the Civic Centre concept would not be feasible from a business perspective.
“We respect the decision of the Saints organization and understand their position. We value our long standing relationship with the Saints and would like to thank them for their input and contributions throughout this process,” said Mayor Acker. “When looking to invest in new projects, the City must remain responsible with taxpayer dollars and ensuring they are spent in a way that maximizes both community use and investment.”