The Lewis Farms Recreation Centre was one of the major priorities I campaigned on in 2017, so I’m extremely pleased that last month Council voted to move forward with this project. Although the opening date for the facility is still a few years out, I’m proud to say we are making this vital piece of infrastructure happen for our West End residents.
This project is long overdue; our city’s West End, and in particular Ward 5, has grown a great deal in the past few decades, but our capacity for recreation activities has not kept pace. For years, residents of the West End have had to travel to other areas of the city for many basic recreation activities. This new facility will not only help to remedy this shortage of recreation space, it will also include a library, a daycare, a high school completion centre and several other amenities that will benefit our community.
Throughout the design process for this project, the City has hosted a number of public and stakeholder engagement activities, each of which saw between 500 and 1,000 attendees. They did this to ensure the recreation centre meets the needs of residents and ensure we are getting this project right from the start. Feedback from each phase of engagement has been used to inform the project development thus far, and the final design demonstrates that. The design phase is expected to wrap up in late 2020, with construction currently slated to begin in 2021.
The new recreation centre will offer a wide range of facilities and services, including a skate park, swimming pool, arenas and baseball diamonds. The cost for the project is estimated to be $321.3 million, though this number may be further refined or reduced when the design process is completed next year. This is a much-needed and worthwhile investment in our city and in the West End.
The approval of the Lewis Farms Recreation Centre is a win, not just for West End residents, but for all Edmontonians. When it opens its doors in 2025, the new facility will create capacity at other pools, arenas and gyms and take capacity pressures off of other City recreation facilities. Overall, it will help to promote active and healthy living across our city.
As always, I’m happy to hear your feedback on this or any other City matters. I encourage you to contact me via email (email@example.com), phone (780-496-8120) or on Twitter (@sjlhamilton). I welcome your perspectives and suggestions on how we can work together to build a healthier city.