Paths to change
reprinted from Red Deer
Advocate (Brenda Kossowan) August 10, 2010
would connect facilities located between Alexander Way and Rotary
Recreation Park under concept plan
A promenade connecting various recreation, sporting and culture
facilities will form the spine of a major overhaul planned for
southeast side of Red Deer's downtown.
The city's recreation, parks and culture department has now spent
most of the $200,000 allotted to create a long term plan that knits
together the various facilities located between Alexander Way and
the Rotary Recreation Park.
While still subject to City Council's approval, the plan provides a
framework for creating a network of facilities that will meet a wide
variety of needs within the community, said recreation
superintendent Kay Kenny.
City Council is to decide what direction to take with the plan
during its regular meeting on Aug. 23, said Kenny.
The five phases of the overall plan begin with construction of a
promenade between the Golden Circle and the arena facilities at the
south end of what is being called the South Area Site, architect
Craig Webber of Group 2 Architecture Engineering told the crowd of
80 to 100 people who gathered on Monday evening for a first look at
One of the key features of the promenade is that, along with
linking the site to the city's network of walkways and parking lots,
it would provide improved access to popular public market held on
Saturday mornings throughout the growing season, said Webber.
Most of the vendors and exhibitors would be able to move out of the
parking lot where the market is now held and place their booth along
the promenade, meaning people attending the market would have access
to more of the parking spaces on the site and throughout the city
centre, he said.
Along with the promenade, plans include creating a large green are
immediately south of the Alexander Way, which would require moving
the speedskating oval, horseshoe pits and bowling greens to other
While a new horseshoe and lawn bowling site would be placed in the
southeastern area of the site, the speedskating oval would be
removed altogether and rebuilt elsewhere in the city, he said.
The proposed plan also allows for expansion of the tennis,
skateboarding and aquatic facilities and assumes that the curling
club's facilities will eventually be combined with the Red Deer
Arena into a large ice facility.
Future plans assume that the Red Deer Museum and Art Gallery,
already squeezed for space, will eventually find a new home and that
the existing building will then be "re-purposed" for the Golden
Circle, said (Colleen) Jensen (Director of Community Services).
A number of people raised concerns about the impact the plan would
have on parking within the site and neighbouring areas, especially
when major events take place. Their concerns included worries about
participants taking up residential spots in Parkvale. Jensen said
those sorts of details are to be worked out over time.
"I want to reiterate that this is a concept plan, not a detailed
plan, and I understand that there is some discomfort in that. So,
this gives an overview in terms of what can happen," said Jensen.
People have said they don't want to see a sea of parking, she said.
On the other hand, they want to be able to park in front of the
facilities they use.
"Think what the city is going to look like in 25 years time. We are
going to need to put a very sound strategy in place in terms of
addressing all of the things you are talking about," she said.
Jensen and Webber invited people to full out comment cards for a
final report to be included when the plan is presented for Council's