Location: Edmonton, Alberta
Project Value: $6.8 Million
The new Abbottsfield Recreation Centre (ARC), owned by the City of Edmonton and operated by the Abbottsfield Recreation Society, will replace an older facility on an adjacent site. The current existing centre caters to the local neighbourhood, providing a busy, well-attended schedule of programs and events meeting the social needs of the local residents. These include a preschool, youth groups (including sport activities), parent & toddler groups, church services, food basket programs, movie nights, healthy living classes, arts & crafts groups etc. run by various partner agencies and organizations. The new ARC will allow all of these gatherings to continue, while providing much needed operational efficiencies and some opportunities for new programming. The intent is to build the new facility east of the current building which will remain in operation through the construction period.
The ARC site mediates the large open green space that is a significant focal point of the Abbottsfield residential neighbourhood, and the more urban amenities (such as a major shopping centre and transit centre) to the. The creation of a “mixed use” parking court offers a distinct place intended to provide a framework for future development, a destination, and zone that transitions from the urban character of 119 Avenue and the expansive green space to the north. It will accommodate outdoor gatherings and functions, small informal sports activities, as in addition to serving the parking needs of the facility.
The new ARC will become an important social heart and catalyst for the Abbottsfield neighbourhood, by building upon what is already existing, and by presenting cues for the development of a unique place within the discussion of community development and sustainability. Already, the Edmonton Public Library has expressed a desire to occupy an adjacent site. It is hoped that the facility will not merely replace the existing facility, but assist in fostering the notion of community in ways that were not conceivable in the existing older building.