District of Sparwood gateway banner. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

Sparwood moves along with indoor multi-use facility proposal

The district has now voted to create an advisory committee to make recommendations on design

Sparwood’s journey to having a new multi-purpose facility is moving along, with the district council voting to create an advisory committee for the proposed multi-million-dollar development.

Made up of 11 voting members, the committee will consist of six members of the community at-large (potentially including members of the business community), a representative from a sports club within the district, a representative from the school district, and three members of the district council.

Except for the district councillors, the members of the committee have not yet been determined.

The three councillors which will sit on the committee with be councillors Amy Cardozo, Jason Christensen and Brad Bowen. In addition, Mayor David Wilks will be on the committee as a non-voting member.

According to the district’s director of community and facility services, Duane Lawrence, having a committee to advise on the design of the facility was the way to go.

“We believe this would be a good cross-representation to provide an overall balanced approach to developing and analysing what the community needs for this new facility,” he said.

He added that the committee would be a good tool for outreach and education for the community to better understand the project, it’s costs and the resulting borrowing needs.

The committee will only be able to make recommendations, with the District of Sparwood council remaining as the over-arching authority and decision maker on the development of the facility, which will go to a referendum at the next municipal election in 2022. The design process will be done by a contractor, with input from the committee.

Under previous decisions made by the council, the roof of the budget for the proposed facility is $30 million, with options to revise it downwards based on feedback as the district moves through the development proposal process.

The responsibilities of the committee are focused on the design of the facility, and includes a long shopping list of items they’ll be involved in, including location, composition, functionality, what is included in the facility, size, amenities, preferred construction method, construction materials and choices (determining the look of the exterior of the building), site servicing, landscaping needs, regional use implications and opportunities and operational considerations for the facility, operational cost implications and total cost of the entire development.

The district will now formally begin the process of filling the remaining 8 spots on the committee, with consideration given to relation to the project and interest in development.

Committee members must be residents of the District of Sparwood, cannot be municipal employees (besides the councillors), will not be paid, and the term will end in October 2022. The next municipal election is in October 2022.

READ MORE: Sparwood starts to envision new multi-purpose facility for district

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