Shellbrook Rec Centre recognized with Cecil Nobes Facility Award of Excellence

Town of Shellbrook Photo The Shellbrook Richardson Pioneer Centre was recently named the winner of the Cecil Nobes Facility Award of Excellence as part of the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association's 2021 SPRA RECognition Awards.

The Town of Shellbrook Richardson Pioneer Centre was recently recognized with the Cecil Nobes Facility Award of Excellence as part of the Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association’s 2021 SPRA RE Cognition Awards.

Jessica Kernohan, recreation director for the Town of Shellbrook, said they were happy to receive recognition for their project.

That shows how strong our local volunteers are and how much our rink means to our community,” Kernohan said.

The SPRA Cecil Nobes Facility Award of Excellence is presented to a Saskatchewan municipality for construction of a new facility, or the retrofit or renovation project, where the unique or outstanding design contributes to the overall efficiency or accessibility of the facility’s operation.

It was a project over quite a few years and we had wrapped it up at last season,” Kernohan said. “It was made possible through, half of it was a large grant the other half was through local fundraising efforts,”

The Shellbrook Richardson Pioneer Recreation Centre was initially constructed in the 1970s by a group of community volunteers, but by the 2020s was beginning to show its age.

The community united to raise nearly $2 million to fund major upgrades, including a 100 KW solar voltaic array as a source of renewable energy.

The award comes almost a year after the Shellbrook Recreation Project Steering Committee completed a three-year upgrade of the Richardson Pioneer Recreation Centre. The project ensures that the recreation centre continues to serve as an essential community gathering place for years to come.

Kernohan said that she hoped it would be around forever, but the upgrades should keep it viable for another 35 years.

The solar array are among the items that will provide cost savings for the future.

With that renewable energy, we have a whole new solar field that helps power our refrigeration plant,” she explained. “The amount of power Saskatchewan uses in the wintertime is quite large because of everyone heating their homes and lighting the darkness of Canadian winters, so that helps us a lot with those costs.

The rink also received some upgrades as part of the project. Fans, skaters, and hockey players will notice new dasher boards, and a new glass system around the ice surface.

The upgrades also include what she refers to as an ‘ice surface lasagna.’

Underneath of the ice surface there is a whole bunch of refrigeration lines that go under there and then below those you have to have some type of insulation otherwise frost moves down into the ground and then ends up cracking your concrete because it heats,” she explained. “Then, below the insulation is a hot deck so you don’t have a chance of cracking the cement.”

She added that a great part of the project is things are not visible to the naked eye. As well, there was another project where a local group put new seating into the arena.

Other parts included the purchase of a new ice resurfacing machine and a low-emissivity ceiling. As well there are also new exterior and interior doors, new insulation, upgrades to the lobby and bathrooms, and an improved viewing area from the lobby.

I’m just very proud of our community and what they had to do to make this project possible and it’s a well deserved congratulations,” Kernohan said.

According to the SPRA, these exceptional individuals and community groups worked hard to provide parks and recreation spaces and opportunities to their communities during unprecedented times in our province. They contributed to mental and physical health, their local and provincial economies, natural and built environments, and they helped people feel connected to their communities throughout the pandemic.

The other recipients of the 2021 SPRA RECognition Awards included John Froese of Swift Current who received the President’s Award of Distinction, Kent McMann of Foam Lake who received the Volunteer of the Year Award, the Swift Current Community Youth Initiative which received the Community Achievement Award and the Hepburn Centennial Park Project which received the Parks and Open Spaces Award.

The 2021 RECognition Award winners have all led and inspired by example,” Jody Boulet, SPRA President said in a release.

Their commitment to improving quality of life in their home communities is worthy of celebration. The impact of their actions this past year will be felt for years to come.”

To celebrate these exceptional individuals and community groups, SPRA produced a series of videos to highlight their achievements.

The videos premiered on Facebook on Tuesday, Jan. 25 and were shared each day throughout the rest of that week.

The SPRA RECognition Awards are celebrated annually to acknowledge the contributions made by volunteers and professionals in the recreation and parks industry throughout Saskatchewan. The program is made possible through funding by Sask Lotteries.