Canada

Calgary committee approves $45M Repsol Centre expansion, Beltline & Inglewood rec centre funding

Calgary’s Repsol Sport Centre could be getting a multi-million dollar expansion if approved by city council.

On Wednesday morning, the city’s standing policy committee on community and protective services​ voted to put $45 million toward an expansion of the Repsol Centre so it can include more specialized aquatic amenities.

The committee also approved $400,000 in one-time funding for both the Beltline and Inglewood rec centres to help them reopen in 2022 — funds originally earmarked for the 2020 season, which was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Read more: Calgary’s Eau Claire YMCA to permanently close

The Beltline rec centre would re-open without the underused pool facilities and the rock climbing wall would only re-open for group bookings.

The Inglewood rec centre would open up more hours for community pool access and provide more programs that encourage social use of the pool.

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Following research and public engagement, city officials said the Repsol Centre is able to serve the greater downtown for general aquatic amenities, even after the closure of the Eau Claire YMCA and Beltline pools. A lack of area access to specialized aquatics, like zero-entry wave pools or lazy rivers, would constitute much of the Repsol expansion.

Read more: Calgary pools close as councillor seeks options for struggling inner city aquatic centre

If approved by city council at an upcoming meeting, city administration would be directed to revise the city’s recreation capital investment strategy, an amendment brought by Mayor Naheed Nenshi.

“What this is asking for is a very quick report from administration on a revised recreation capital investment strategy looking at current and future sources of funding, including the Community Recreation Levy and the Community Investment Reserve,” Nenshi said.

Ward 12 Coun. Shane Keating voted to oppose the one-time funding for the Beltline and Inglewood facilities, saying he would rather put the combined $800,000 towards a city-operated facility “that is going to survive,” or put the funds towards a grant to help families with Repsol memberships.

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