To meet the growing need for convenient recreation opportunities and support the important role recreation plays in building complete communities, the City of Calgary made a commitment to open four new recreation facilities in underserved areas of the city. The first of these facilities, Remington YMCA, officially opened its doors in Quarry Park on Canada Day.
The City of Calgary oversaw the planning, design and construction of the new facility, representing an investment of $63 million. Owned by the city, the facility will be operated by YMCA Calgary as part of a shared commitment to provide quality health and recreation opportunities for Calgarians. This third-party operated model for recreation has been successful in the past and is aimed at ensuring the best possible services are provided in an efficient and cost-effective way.
“We are trying to meet the recreation needs of Calgarians as we are growing,” says Kyle Ripley, director of Calgary Recreation. “We look for land that will allow us to do that, then we secure funding to develop these facilities, and then we look for a partner to operate it, and in this case the partner is YMCA Calgary.”
At approximately 94,000 square feet, the Remington YMCA features two pools, hot tubs and a steam room. There is also a gymnasium, fitness centre, aerobics studios, running/walking track, multipurpose rooms for cultural, art, learning and business activities, childcare and food services.
Designed with the specific needs of the surrounding communities in mind, the facility reflects extensive community research and engagement. It will serve as a new community hub, offering a blend of leisure, recreational and community amenities, including a new 9,000-square-foot full-service public library. There are also outdoor playing fields that will be operated by the city.
Investment in recreation infrastructure is important for fostering cultural vitality, encouraging healthy, active lifestyles and stimulating the local economy. Recreation plays an important role in building and sustaining active, cultural, vibrant and complete communities.
“Calgary’s recreation clientele encompasses the 1.2 million people who live in our city,” says Ripley. “We have the objective to bring recreation into their lives. Specific to this facility, we are looking at the individuals and families in the area. It is to serve them and the employees of the adjacent business park.”
The city will be opening future facilities in the Great Plains industrial area (November 2016), Rocky Ridge (late 2017) and Seton (late 2018).