Business Items    Item #   10. a.            
Regular Council Meeting Agenda
Meeting Date: 02/12/2018  
Title: Corporate Plan Amendment for TransAlta Tri Leisure Centre Outdoor Rink - Wolanski
Department: Community & Protective Services
Where People Choose to Raise a Family - A leading recreation, leisure and sports community
There are a number of active and engaged community groups involved in the development, promotion and implementation of leisure, recreational and sporting infrastructure, amenities and activities.

Request for Decision Summary
Contained within the 2017-2019 and 2018-2020 corporate plans is initiative CE 480.5 - Implementation of Outdoor Facilities Strategy. This initiative includes a project to construct a new boarded outdoor rink to be located west of Jennifer Heil Way.

City Administration reviewed a number of sites and levels of development for an outdoor rink. After reviewing the available information for each site and taking into account the ability to support year round use in addition to scheduled ice time for minor sports, the location at the south west corner of the TransAlta Tri Leisure Centre was deemed ideal for this type of development.

City Administration and Management of the Tri-Municipal Leisure Facility Corporation (TLC) negotiated a Memorandum of Agreement for the management of the new outdoor rink. In the agreement the TLC agrees to operate and maintain the outdoor rink, thus saving a significant amount of labour costs for the Public Works Department. Administration believes the operational cost savings and the extra value for residents from a programmable off-season multiuse outdoor rink makes the increased capital cost a sound investment in the long term.
Proposed Motion
That the corporate plan amendment to increase funding for initiative CE 480.5 - Implementation of Outdoor Facilities Strategy be approved as presented.

In 2015, City Administration presented Council a report titled, "Playbook 2029, Spruce Grove's Outdoor Sport Facility Strategy". This report not only looked at outdoor sport fields, it also investigated winter sport and recreation facilities, including outdoor ice. Strategy 7 in Playbook 2029 deals exclusively with winter activities. A number of action items are included in this strategy including ensuring an equitable distribution of outdoor winter recreation facilities within the City, manage user conflicts through programming as well as through facility design, and consider the proximity of outdoor rinks in relation to indoor ice rinks so that they can be booked and therefore reduce demand for indoor ice time. These criteria as well as the ability for the community to utilize the outdoor rink during summer months all fed into the final site selection and conceptual design of the facility.  

In 2017 a memorandum of agreement (MOA) was negotiated with the TLC to manage the new facility if it were to be built on the TLC lands. Administration also undertook some initial design and planning for this new amenity. Part of that planning  included updated cost estimates. These estimates revealed that the initial budget of $581,000 would be insufficient to build a multi-use outdoor rink at this location. The discovery of substandard soil conditions resulted in a revised design plan for the rink footprint which entails the removal of existing soils and replaced with high grade compaction material.      
Recreation Services reviewed a number of different sites as well as different conceptual designs to determine the greatest value to the community. Sites reviewed included:
  • South West Corner of the TransAlta Tri Leisure Centre lands (preferred site);
  • The area west of the  Rotary Playscape, fronting Spruce Ridge Road; 
  • Future municipal reserve south of Fuhr Sports Park in Legacy Park; and
  • Cooperhaven School.

Conceptual design elements for the rink included:
  • A simple boarded outdoor rink, similar to current city rinks located at Aspenglen and Lakewood Parks;
  • A boarded rink with a sand base and drainage system that could accommodate beach volleyball; and
  • A boarded rink with a concrete surface with inserts for court sports such as basketball, pickleball, fitness training, etc. (preferred design). 

All three of the conceptual designs had merit and were worth investigating. When we considered our preferred site at the TLC, the option of a boarded rink with a concrete surface that had the ability to add other sport and program elements to it appeared to be a perfect option.

As mentioned earlier in this report, there is currently an MOA in place between the City and the TLC. The agreement generally states that the City will build the rink on Tri Leisure lands and the TLC agrees to manage, operate and maintain the facility. The agreement also requires that at minimum, 85% of prime time during the winter and 50% during the summer will be available to the general public for spontaneous recreational opportunities. The City’s Public Works department estimates that the total operational savings (materials, supplies, labour and equipment) through this agreement is approximately $32,000 a year.

Management, with the TLC, has expressed interest in attempting to rent a portion of prime time to regular ice users such as minor hockey and ringette. Although not a significant volume of time would be rented, it is believed that these efforts could help to somewhat reduce the demand for indoor ice.

An exterior hard surface programmable space as considered, complements the existing program at the Tri Leisure Centre and can provide spontaneous drop in space in addition to program space. Recreation staff have been challenged over the past number of years to identify ways of increasing off-season use of our existing outdoor rinks. Without a program element, off-season use is very difficult to establish and maintain. This can be overcome by the synergies with the Tri Leisure Centre and the ability for TLC staff to facilitate use. As the design of the facility evolves, the ability for off season use will be further defined and may include elements such as basketball, pickleball, floor hockey, fitness programming, or special events such as birthday parties.

Based on the reduced operational costs, increased off-season use potential, synergies with the TLC, and the ability to schedule and program winter ice use, Administration believes that a multi-purpose boarded rink constructed at the Tri Leisure Centre is worth the extra capital construction costs for the additional value delivered to residents. 
Council could direct Administration to identify an alternate location for the outdoor rink, alternate elements to include (if any) with the outdoor rink or cancel the project.
The administration of the TLC has been consulted with for this project and an MOA has been signed. Pending Council approval, City Administration will continue to engage with TLC staff on the final design for the facility as well as facility impacts during the construction process.
Upon Council approval, a construction contractor will be secured. Upon securing a contractor the design will be finalized and construction would begin. It's anticipated that construction would be completed by Fall 2018.
The development of an outdoor rink on the TLC lands should have minimal impact to City operations.

Construction of the rink should have minimal impact to the TLC. The project team will make all efforts to minimize impacts to the facility.

If the project proceeds as planned, there should be winter use opportunities at the new rink during the 2018-19 outdoor ice season.

Fiscal Impact
Financial Implications:
Approved initiative budget: $581,000
Updated initiative budget: $930,000
Shortfall: $349,000
Recommended Shortfall Funding Source: M.S.I. Program