Resort Village of Candle Lake plans Community Centre rehabilitation

Photo courtesy of the Resort Village of Candle Lake.

The Resort Village of Candle Lake is one step closer to rehabilitating their Community Centre after receiving grant funding approval from ICIP Community, Culture and Recreation-type Infrastructure Projects for 2021-2022.

The project involves completing phases 3 and 4 of rehabilitation work identified in a 2016 Feasibility Study. Resort Village of Candle Lake CAO Brent Lutz said the work is long overdue.

“The building is almost 50 years old,” Lutz explained. “It’s our primary recreation facility here in the community. It’s utilized by virtually all of our community clubs…. The Wapiti Library and the local health clinic that is in the same facility.”

Another study conducted in 2019 identified that a number of building components did not meet current building, safety and accessibility codes. Luzt said that the community has done numerous investigations and studies, which show how big the need is.

“It’s a good candidate for rehabilitation,” he said. “The opportunity came up. We had already established that we were going to do some rehabilitation whatever we could afford to do with the building, and then the opportunity came up us to apply for the Investing In Canada Infrastructure for recreational projects. We felt it was a good candidate and it was.”

Total project costs will exceed $1.2 million, which includes $502,645 in Federal funding and $418,837 in Provincial funding. The rest of the funding will come from the Village.

“Some areas of the building have been rehabilitated over the years and other portions of it are showing their age,” Lutz said. “Some of the accessibility standards aren’t completely fulfilled with the building, so it’s time to consider what the next step for providing the service in the community.”

Lutz added that the funding they received was among the highest amount given in this group of projects.

“It paled to the Martensville $17 million, but for us this grant is in some ways equally important for a community our size,” Lutz said.

Lutz came from a similar job in Melfort and explained that the new construction he is seeing in Candle Lake exceeds places like Melfort and Prince Albert.

“It is a growing community,” he said. “It has got interesting needs because our population varies so greatly from season to season.

“That means that because we have got a smaller base of permanent residents we are often struggling to support all of the people that choose to come to Candle Lake for their second home with the kind of services they expect.”

The grant was awarded based on project merit, not population size. Lutz said they are grateful to receive the support and eager to get started on the next stage.

“We are anxious to dig in this and get started on the construction here in the new year,” he said.

The Community Centre project will enhance the quality of the building by replacing and repair major building systems to extend its useful life. This will include repairing the exterior building envelope including; the aged metal siding and existing roof deck.

Interior work will include a new HVAC system with air exchange improving indoor air quality to enhance occupant comfort. Audio/visual enhancements in the gymnasium will expand the usefulness of the facility.

Renovations to the second floor Seniors’ Room will better accommodate the many cultural, recreation and social groups that use the space. This includes storage solutions to accommodate the groups that use the facility.

Electrical upgrades will be considered including a backup generator to use the building during emergency situations.

The Candle Lake Community Centre project is designed to improve occupant comfort by adapting the space for better access. This will include accessibility improvements such as, handicapped parking pad and exterior entrance ramps. Interior design will incorporate doorways and hardware designed for individuals with accessibility and mobility restrictions. Washrooms on the second floor will be designed to be fully accessible for those with mobility restrictions.

The rehabilitation of the Community Centre will also result in operational savings for Resort Village.

Lutz said the newly rehabilitated facility will bring together all residents by hosting a variety of cultural and social events throughout the year.

“This building will look and serve us like a new building,” he said. “Basically, we are bringing it 50 years ahead to current days. I don’t know if we will get another 50 years out of it but we will certainly rehabilitate it into ‘like new’ condition and certainly with many of the new amenities and design features that you would expect in modern construction.”

The ICIP Program is designed to improve access to and/or increase quality of community, cultural and recreational infrastructure for Canadians.