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Hay River to build new rec centre instead of renovating old one

The Town of Hay River has elected to build a new recreation centre instead of renovating and expanding the existing one.

Council’s decision this week means Clark Builders will build an entirely new Don Stewart Recreation Centre on the existing site as early as this summer.

Read: Hay River meets to discuss rec centre ahead of plebiscite

“This decision was carefully discussed and measured based on numerous criteria including best value for the town,” read a statement issued by town officials Wednesday.

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“The decision of council means that the Town of Hay River will have a newly constructed rec centre along with the legacy of a new structure.”

It remains to be seen how much the new facility will cost as the town is still negotiating with Clark Builders.

Last fall, Hay River residents voted in favour of allowing the town to increase its borrowing limit so that it can borrow roughly $15 million for the project.

Then in March, the town was given $4.2 million by Infrastructure Canada to ‘expand and modernize’ the existing building.

In order for construction to begin, the current facility will close on July 2 and will remain closed until October 2017.

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During that time, the arena, curling club, hockey rink, community hall, and meeting rooms will all be out of service while the pool will remain open.

“The town understands the closure of these facilities will have a major impact on our community and we appreciate your patience and cooperation as we work through this process.

“We will be in contact with the user groups that may have any equipment being stored in the centre, so they have an opportunity to have it removed prior to close.”

Town officials will host an open house in the existing facility on June 8 to discuss the project in greater detail.

That public meeting will be held in the community hall starting at 6:30pm.

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