By Jarle Lovlin
Construction is now underway for a major recreational facility in Lethbridge that will feature much-needed multi-sport facilities and aquatic features for the southern Alberta community.
Diamond Schmitt Architects won a design competition for the $109-million Crossings Leisure Complex Phase 2. The plans include a major aquatics facility, field house, fitness centre, running track, and several gymnasiums, as well as an indoor playground, child-minding area, and multi-purpose rooms. The aquatics components include a lap pool, waterslides, a ‘lazy river,’ and whirlpools. Flexible multi-purpose space will allow engagement for all ages and various activities.
“This is one of the most exciting projects in our city’s history,” said Councilor Rob Miyashiro, chair of the Crossings Leisure Complex Steering Committee. “A leisure complex has been the top priority in our community for a long time, and it is becoming a reality.”
Together with Edmonton’s BR2 Architecture, Diamond Schmitt Architects will collaborate with construction manager Stuart Olson Construction on the project. Phase 2’s detailed design work is expected to be complete by the end of this year, with construction slated to start in the spring of 2016.
The significance of this project for Lethbridge meant engaging the public through an extensive consultation process to determine the kinds of recreational facilities they need and desire. Community interaction will continue through the design stage of Phase 2. A comprehensive facility such as this serves not only to promote health and fitness values, but also as a destination for the community and the greater region.
The adjacent Phase 1 ice facility is currently under construction with the direction from a separate design team. That 11,612-m2 (125,000-sf) project includes the construction of:
- two National Hockey League (NHL)-sized ice surfaces;
- 10-sheet curling facility;
- spectator viewing areas;
- dressing rooms; and
- food/beverage services.
The combined phases of Crossings Leisure Complex could support additional amenities such as food services and retail space. The project is scheduled for completion in late 2018 or early 2019.
Jarle Lovlin is a Principal at Diamond Schmitt Architects. He has a special interest in the accommodation of social space in contemporary architecture and sustainable design. Lovlin’s recreational facility work includes the Mary McCormick Recreation Centre in Toronto and the Lunenburg County Lifestyle Centre (Bridgewater, N.S.).