Field house to open for fall

Foothills: Weather to blame for construction delays

By: Roxanne Blackwell

  |  Posted: Thursday, Jun 26, 2014 06:00 am

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The finishing touches are being put on the Foothills-Okotoks Regional Field House, but athletes are going to have to wait patiently as the opening date has been postponed again.

Completion is scheduled for July 31 and the facility will be open to the public by mid-August. Okotoks community services manager Susan Laurin said the weather is to blame for the extra month delay.

“We had a very extended winter, the temperature was very cold,” she said. “They can’t pour the concrete for the pads when the temperature is below a certain degree and then it was too muddy and the trucks couldn’t get through.”

Laurin said they’re moving into putting finishing touches on the facility, which will house multipurpose rooms, three turf fields and an additional multipurpose field for basketball, volleyball, badminton, pickleball and lacrosse.

“We still have to put in all of the boards, all of the turf, all of the netting and fixtures and finish the painting,” she said. “It’s really taking shape and its gong to look amazing.”

One thing that won’t be ready for the opening is the road to get in. Due to weather-related construction backups, the main entry at Highway 7 and 2A won’t be completed until some time in September. Instead, a temporary access will be used along 64th street. Okotoks councillor Matt Rockley said he would like to see the opening delayed until the main access is finished.

“My main concern is that there wouldn’t be the signalized traffic lights with the intersection, so traffic movements coming into the field house wouldn’t be as safe,” he said.

Rockley also said there were promises made to nearby landowners that the construction road would not be used for public access.

“That person was given assurances that road wouldn’t be used for access to the field house that it would just be a construction thing,” he said. “So I have concerns with saying that we weren’t going to use it and then using it.”

The MD of Foothills council will be advising the landowners of that change in addition to lowering the speed limits on the road, but Laurin said usage is only temporary and shouldn’t have a large impact based on the timing.

“All of the indoor seasons typically start in September, and all of the outdoor summer summer sports usually wind down at the beginning or middle of august,” she said. “So the last two weeks of August are typically slow, and we are anticipating that the other road will be open by September.”

The Field House has experienced multiple delays since construction began in 2012 after some of the initial framework collapsed. In spite of that, Laurin said they’re looking forward to finally opening their doors.

“I think having it open for the beginning of all of the indoor season will be so exciting,” she said. “People won’t have to travel into Calgary and we’re going to have a top class facility to them to use.”

The Field House is currently accepting bookings at 403-461-5498.


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