Arena/Multi-Use Recreation Facility

Are there provincial and federal grants available for this project?

There are no specific grants available to build a new recreation centre. The $13.75 million that we identified includes our Municipal Sustainability Initiative (MSI) grant that we receive from the Province and our Federal Gas Tax grant that we receive from the Federal Government. There were expectations that the new Build Canada grant that was announced by the Government of Canada would allow us to access funds for this project; however, they have removed Sport and Recreation facilities from the list of projects that are allowed to access the funds. We are hopeful that there will be additional dollars found by both the provincial and federal government to contribute to this project and are currently advocating to our elected representatives on all levels to work towards that. This is why it is so important to form partnerships with regional municipalities and stakeholders like the school divisions as they may have the ability to access funding that we can’t receive on our own.

Are we planning for the future by considering the new development that the facility will bring?

The location that we have chosen is large enough to accommodate additional commercial development on site. We saw, first hand, the amount of both commercial and residential development that a facility like this brings on our tour of facilities in Saskatchewan. Council has been acutely aware of the fact that we are not building a facility to accommodate our needs today, but the needs of what our community will be in 20+ years. Thoughtful decisions in regards to where the facility will be built are critical to the success of this project as it will drive development and change our community into the future.

Is the Town exploring partnerships with Sturgeon County? Schools?

Yes, we have been working with Sturgeon County and other regional municipalities and discussing the different ways that we can work together on this project. Morinville Council hosted Councils from Bon Accord, Legal, Gibbons, Redwater, St. Albert, and Sturgeon County as well as the Chief from Alexander First Nations and the Edmonton Garrison base Commander for a casual dinner on October 15, 2015.  On October 27, 2015 Town of Morinville and Sturgeon County Council's both passed the Town of Morinville/ Sturgeon County Intermunicipal Affairs Committee Bylaw. Additionally, two members of Sturgeon County Council are also members of the Arena/Multi-Use Recreation Facility Steering Committee. Council is open to partnerships with any group that we feel can benefit the project.

Where will the new Arena/Multi-Use Recreation Facility be located?

On January 27, 2015 Mayor and Council announced that the location of the Future Arena/Multi-Use Recreation Facility is a 77-acre parcel of land located East of Morinville and North of Hwy 642. Please click here to see a visual of the specific area, here to download the complete presentation, or here to view the video recording of the announcement. 

Are my taxes going to go up?

In the 2015 budget deliberations Council is considering a project for the Multi-Use Recreation Facility that has an amount of $13.75 million attached to it. That amount is what the Town can raise through consolidating provincial and federal grants that can be used for this project. It isn’t a projected cost for the facility – until we know what we are building, we can’t project how much it will cost. We know it will be more than $13.75 million, but wanted to show that as our starting point. Anything that we spend above that will need to be funded through further debentures (borrowing), tax increases, sponsorships/fundraising or other potential grants that could be announced.

How am I going to have input into this project?

Council has collected a lot of public input up to this point. We’ve gathered the information received through the 2013 Regional Recreation Master Plan development, Morinville Recreation, Parks and Open Space Master Plan development which also included a Community Services Needs Assessment, the Morinville Rotary Club’s open houses, online surveys, targeted user group meetings, coffee nights, discussions at Tradeshow and the Arena/Rec Facility Open House held in April 2014.

Council held an Open House on December 11, 2014, and at that meeting Council  announced the formation of Stakeholder User-Groups and invited anyone from the public to be involved in those meetings that began January. These groups were and will continue to be important for validating existing information and compiling specific details for the various user groups. Input from the user groups will continue to support Council in their decision-making and be used to guide the project. 

With Arch|TB in place, a stakeholder user-group meeting with all user groups in attendance was held October 28, 2015. This meeting allowed Council to update everyone on where they are at in the process, to discuss any questions people have, and get involved with the Arch|TB team. Check out a recording of the meeting here. 

Twelve (12) members at large were appointed to the committee during the November 10, 2015 Regular Meeting of Council. Councillor Ladouceur and Councillor Putnam were also appointed to the committee at that time. On November 24, 2015 Nicole Boutestein was appointed to the committee as a member at large. On December 8, 2015, Sturgeon County Councillor Jerry Kaup and Councillor Patrick Tighe were also appointed. 

An interactive public forum has been launched on the Town of Morinville website in which the community can comment, provide suggestions and discuss various topics. Everyone is welcome to email any member of Council with comments, or

Who are AODBT and what were they hired to do?

AODBT is an architectural/design firm (partnered with PacWest) that was awarded the contract through an RFP process to complete a feasibility study for this project (study is available on the Town’s website) and to do the site design. Information that was collected and reviewed during the feasibility study is looked at in detail for the specific location to provide input on servicing needs, identify restrictions that we can face (i.e. utility lines, transportation issues, etc.) and help us determine what sort of facility could fit on the site.

What company was awarded the Architectural & Professional Services Contract?

On July 31, 2015, the Town of Morinville posted the RFP (Request for Proposal) for Architectural & Professional Services in regards to the Arena/Multi-Use Recreation Facility. The RFP closed on August 31 at 2pm with 11 companies submitting proposals.

Administration reviewed the proposals submitted and brought forward a recommendation to Council during a Special Meeting held on Tuesday, September 15, 2015. During that meeting, the Town Council passed a resolution to award the Architectural & Professional Services Contract to Architecture | Tkalcic Bengert (Arch|TB) for the Recreation Project. 

Has Town Council already made the decisions on what the facility will include and look like?

No. Council spent many months deliberating on and finalizing the location of the new facility. This task alone was a huge undertaking. Over the course of the months, Council has provided numerous opportunities to engage with the community and hear what they want. With the onboarding of Arch|TB Council will be able to work alongside and make the decisions required in order to further this project.

What is the current state of the Ray McDonald Sports Center arena? How long can it stay open

The arena building was re-constructed in 1965 and had an estimated life of about 50 years. The building was originally built in the 1940’s as an aircraft hangar that was used by the Department of National Defence.

Repairs were done to the roof in 2002 and 2007. In 2012, approx. $380,000 was spent in repairs including emergency roof repairs, mould removal, furnace replacement, control panel replacement and tile repairs.

In 2013, engineering firms JADA Solutions and AECOM were contracted to do an assessment on the building at a cost of approximately $20,000 combined. The engineering reports outlined several repairs that were required in order to extend the service life of the building. The repairs were estimated between $2.5 million and $4.2 million dollars and include:

  • Structural repairs of the roof, columns and members (about $2M-$3.7M)
  • Mould and stipple abatement that will be exposed due to construction (about $450,000)
  • Leak in ice plant on the curling rink side
  • A new ice plant in 8-10 years
  • A new condenser in 1-5 years
  • New valves in the ice plant in 1-3 years
  • Renovate the dressing rooms
  • Increase the seating capacity (current seating is at 232 seats)

Additionally, we know that if we extend the service life of the building by 5-10 years we will also need to consider the following:

In 2013, the Town completed general repairs and maintenance for approximately $24,000 and designed a monitoring and assessment plan with AECOM for 2014. In addition to the monitoring that was undertaken by AECOM in 2014 (approximately $8,500), two independent assessments by Rogowsky Engineering Ltd. and Read Jones Christoffersen Ltd. were completed to identify necessary repairs for 2014/15 at a combined cost of approximately $8,000. Repairs currently scheduled for completion in 2014 total approximately $15,000.

At the December 15, 2014 Special Meeting of Council, Mayor and Council approved $150,000 for capital improvements on the Ray McDonald Sports Center to extend the service life of the building through to at least the end of the current ice season. More information is expected to be available by the end of January as to whether or not additional funds will be required in order to continue to extend the building's life.

As of February 27, 2015, the scheduled structural repairs were completed and the arena is now back to being fully operational. A full report and update was presented to Mayor and Council during the March 24, 2015 Regular Meeting of Council. 


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