Rain didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of dozens gathered to officially kick off construction of the Badlands Community Facility, Monday morning.
Organizers of the event moved the groundbreaking ceremony into the Drumheller Memorial Arena due to a heavy rainfall warning being issued for the area. Despite this, feelings of relief and jubilation filled the arena where the Fire Coulee Bandits performed for the 85 rain-soaked residents gathered to witness the historic occasion.
Attendees included Mayor Bryce Nimmo, Crowfoot MP Kevin Sorenson and co-chair of the Community Facility Steering Committee, Tony Lacher.
“It has truly been a rewarding experience for me to have worked with so many people who have shared a vision of tomorrow which we bring to you today,” said Lacher. “This facility will proudly serve our community, and thanks to the architectural firm of Graham Edmunds Cartier, it will be an attractive focal point for our town for years to come.”
The Badlands Community Facility grew from an idea to a campaign and now a reality. The Town selected Graham Edmunds Cartier Architecture as the principle designer, and in June, Dawson Wallace Construction won the contract to build the facility.
The project will include a new public library, a fitness centre, running track, field house, gymnasium and conference meeting facility.
Mayor Nimmo thanked the federal and provincial governments for their support. MLA Jack Hayden was unable to be at the groundbreaking, but did send correspondence reaffirming the provincial government’s commitment to the project. Nimmo also was grateful of the work of former councils to make this day a reality.
“The town can afford this building because of the good planning by past councils,” he said, also mentioning the hard work of administration as well as the steering committee, a group of concerned citizens who saw the project through.
Construction is set to go this summer and is scheduled to be completed by August 2011.
After the initial phase is complete, the second phase, which includes a second ice surface, will be undertaken.
A fundraising goal of $12 million has been set for the complete project, and many private and corporate donors have come out to support the project.
“The Badlands Community Facility will enhance the valley’s quality of life and be enjoyed by everyone,” said Lacher.
“Stand tall and be proud of what we have accomplished together.”