New curling rink in the works
Lorelei Martin, head of the new curling club building committee brought forth delegations on behalf of the Drumheller Curling Club at the Town Council meeting on February 6.
She presented a feasibility report on the club and current facility. She also showed two different designs on the future curling rink and what it would entail.
“When we connected with the Lethbridge group, it sort of just gave us a renewed hope that there would be some larger grant money to help pay this,” said Martin. “I’m excited that curling has sort of taken off, even in the media and the TV coverage and the olympics and our junior program and curling is being looked at as a professional sport rather than just solely recreational. A new building would be huge.”
They wish to have it either running north and south or east and west. It would be located behind the Drumheller Memorial Arena and east of the Aquaplex. The north to south running building gives them a large parking space. Geotechnical work needs to be completed to see what design is possible. Four or six sheets is also a point of interest.
Each design would possibly have wheelchair accessibility, a bar and lounge, washrooms on both floors, a non industrial kitchen for a concession, and change rooms. Most of these items are not in the current facility.
“Six sheets would be ideal so we can host events and bring in a lot of people to the town in the winter months which is needed for sure,” said Martin.
The possible cost of construction is from $5.6 million dollars up to $8.4 million as the highest absolute cost.
“One of the reasons is that one, the current curling rink is very near the end of its lifespan,” said Martin. “So the current building is very aged and even in the last couple of years has required structural supports put in and then of course curling rinks are a real place to build community. We have three generations that curl together in a bonspiel, I mean how many sports are there where you can actually compete with your grandparents? Very few so it’s also family oriented where you are all involved in the sport together instead of just watching.”
The local roller derby team has voiced interest in sharing this facility, giving year round usage. The ice will be out during the summer months when the team’s season is in full swing allowing for dual use of the facility all year round.
“They have a bunch of needs so we are going to get to see how well we can meet those with the options we have and what barriers we might have to make creative solutions” said Martin.
The club’s main source of funding will come from grants and inner club fundraising like signage, casinos and raffles.
“We are looking at grants and a larger potential through the Canada New Building Fund so that is what we are hoping for,” said Martin.
There are roughly 150 members that have joined the club. The last meeting was held on Tuesday evening to discuss time lines and other options for the shared space.