Edmonton

$106M-upgrade proposed for Kinsmen Sports Centre

The money would go towards creating a ground-floor lobby, expanded fitness centre and new racket courts, along with widening the 50-metre warm-up pool and adding more parking spaces.

Council will discuss proposal on Monday

Swimming enthusiasts in Alberta say the province needs more pools suitable for competitive swimming. (CBC)

A new city report is recommending a $106 million dollar upgrade for Edmonton’s Kinsmen Sports Centre.

The money would go towards creating a ground-floor lobby, expanded fitness centre and new racket courts, along with widening the 50-metre warm-up pool and adding more parking spaces.

The investment would help turn the recreation centre into a state-of-the-art training and competition venue, which could play an important role in Edmonton's 2022 Commonwealth Games bid, said Coun. Ben Henderson.

Coun. Ben Henderson says upgrading the centre could help strengthen Edmonton's Commonwealth Games bid. (CBC)
“I think it's one of our premier facilities,” he said Friday, noting Kinsmen is one of only two major facilities located in the city core.

“The aquatic part was built for the Commonwealth Games [in 1978] obviously if we do the Games again, it becomes critical for all the same reasons and it would be essential to use it again.

The centre has had minor upgrades in the years since, but nothing on the scale of work that is now being proposed.

Now, staff at Kinsmen are asking for $11 million over the next three years for design work, parking expansion and replacing this entrance sign.

If approved, the rest of the construction would begin in 2019.

Kinsmen falling behind newer centres

While most Edmontonians are only now hearing about the idea, Kinsmen director Brad Badger said the plans have been in the works for years.

Brad Badger, the director of the Kinsmen Sports Centre, says the upgrades would keep the centre on par with other, newer facilities in the city. (CBC)
“We're starting to fall behind a little bit, having the amenities that support all the things and all the users who use our facility,” he said.

About 650,000 use the facility each year, making it the second busiest recreation centre in the city. That number could rise to more than a million once the proposed updates are made, Badger said.

He hopes the proposed changes will encourage both high-performance athletes and regular fitness enthusiasts to use the centre.

“More than any other facility, this place is about two different types of users and this plan is really trying to meet their needs as well as we can and offer things for both of them.”

Council will discuss the report on Monday when the Community Services Committee meets.

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