New curl­ing rink in the works

The Drumheller Mail - - AROUND TOWN - Terri Hux­ley The Drumheller Mail

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.

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