After two months of demolition, work is set to begin to renovate the Stettler Recreation Centre and create a new seniors’ centre and an expanded library.
“Structural steel is scheduled to arrive in two weeks, and then the front entrance will start to take shape and the other parts of the project,” said Lee Penner, the town’s director of parks and leisure services.
Sliding doors and a reconfigured angle are the main features of the entrance.
The project is budgeted at just more than $2 million.
Construction is scheduled for the next two months.
“It will all be ready for Family Day (Feb. 17) and it will be one of the first big events in the new-look Rec Centre,” Penner said.
Upstairs, the seniors’ centre in the former conference room is set to be the first component completed.
“The seniors’ centre is scheduled to be completed by the end of December and ready for use by mid-January,” Penner said.
“When the seniors’ centre is ready and accessible, we plan to have a special grand opening for that part,” said Coun. Malcolm Fischer, who has headed the project to create a new seniors’ centre in town.
Representatives of seniors’ groups who toured the centre last week were pleased with the progress, Fischer said.
“Comments from reps of seniors groups has been very encouraging.”
Afterward, other parts of the projects are expected to wrap up within weeks.
Expanding the library to about 5,000 square feet from 3,000 is slated to soon be completed, Fischer said.
On budget, Fischer commends the architect for his leadership to maintain costs.
“John Hull has been an excellent choice, because if there are nickels and dimes to be saved, he will find them and no needless expenditures anywhere,” Fischer said.
Overall, the budget has pegged the library at $743,636, the seniors’ centre at $599,040 and the new entry and interior staircase and reconfigured foyer at $722,979.
A $250,000 grant for the library from the new federal Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund (CIIP) for the Town of Stettler in partnership with the County of Stettler was the funding that kick-started the major renovation project, Penner said.
Originally built about 20 years ago, the facility has become a centre of much activity for the Stettler region.