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Land purchased for westside rec centre, high school

The City of Airdrie announced July 9 it had jointly purchased approximately 155 acres with Rocky View Schools (RVS) and Mattamy Homes.
Additional facility
The City of Airdrie has taken the first step towards building a second recreation centre in the city – similar to the Genesis Place Recreation Centre – purchasing land in the southwest.

The City of Airdrie announced July 9 it had jointly purchased approximately 155 acres with Rocky View Schools (RVS) and Mattamy Homes. The land, located west of the South Windsong community and south of the future Cobblestone development, was officially purchased July 3. “Forty-three of those acres are going to be between the City of Airdrie (for a rec centre) and RVS for a future high school site,” Mayor Peter Brown said. “Approximately 70 per cent of the 43 acres will be the City of Airdrie.” Mattamy Homes will develop a new community on the remaining 112 acres, he added. Collaborating to purchase the land has a number of benefits, according to Brown. “We get to share resources – much like Bert Church High School does now – so shared fields, shared parking, infrastructure costs, servicing, all that kind of stuff is now shared,” he said. “There’s a significant savings there. The other piece is that if we don’t use the full 43 acres, then we have Mattamy as sort of a backstop – whatever we don’t use, they’ll be happy to take it back in.” Budgeting for the City’s portion of the project began in 2016, according to Brown, and the approximately $5.5 million is being funded through debenture borrowing. Many opportunities for public engagement involving consultation with the community at large and stakeholders will commence in 2019, Brown said. “Our engagement strategy will come before council in Sept.,” he said. “This is going to be a full-time engagement over the next year or so to create exactly what people want.” RVS Superintendent of Business Operations Larry Paul said determining the location of the proposed high school prior to development of the residential area is critical. “You want to have a situation where you have access to fairly major road structures,” he said. “Let’s face it, no one wants to have a high school in the middle of a community. There’s far too much traffic…lots of buses that come in, so what we want to do is make sure that property is on a fairly robust transit feeder system.” Paul said sharing resources and facilities was an important factor in the division’s decision to jointly purchase this land with the City and Mattamy. “They can access our fields or we can access their playgrounds – it just makes sense for the kids to be able to move back and forth,” he said. ‘High schools are usually looking for higher level amenities…where (students) can basically walk across the parking lot and have access to a pool, indoor playgrounds or ice sheets.” Paul could not disclose the purchase cost for RVS’ portion of the land because he said it had yet to be registered with Service Alberta. Brown said he didn’t expect construction of the new rec centre to begin for “a few years.”

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