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City helps fund Hawkwood’s outdoor community centre

Residents of the northwest Calgary community have long-awaited this multi-use space.

The community of Hawkwood made a pitch for $500,000 from Calgary’s Council Community Fund, to help fund an outdoor rec facility for their neighbourhood.

“We have an exciting project for the multi-generational, multi-cultural community of Hawkwood,” said Kevan Newman, president of the Hawkwood Community Association.

The project is led and managed by Hawkwood Community Association and its volunteers. The community association has been planning the facility since 2014.

The group plans to raise $1.8 million to fund the entire project, according to a letter submitted to council. They’re making the pitch to a number of groups.

This space is important for the community, said the association, as Hawkwood is one of the few neighbourhoods in Calgary that doesn’t have a community center building.

Through engagement with residents, community members said they would prefer an outdoor space to meet and be active.

“Society is becoming more isolated and less active – this project will help our community address both issues,” said the Hawkwood community association in a letter.

Coun. Joe Magliocca said they’ve been working on this project together and volunteers have done a great job.

“This is a great project that will build community and allow people and families to enjoy for years to come,” he said.

The facilities

Council ultimately approved funding for the project. Facilities of the space will include:

  • Multi-purpose paved rink with basketball standards for summer use with benches, lighting, dasher boards, and heated RinkWater service
  • Leisure skating area with fire pits
  • Double tennis courts
  • Covered sheltered area and larger shed to replace the current one
  • Pathways to access street, rink and other areas of the facility
  • Amenities such as social gathering spaces, patios and picnic tables
  • Furnishing needs such as trash cans and bike racks
  • On-street parking with handicap spaces

The landscape design will be created with various park uses and environmental risk mitigation in mind.

The facility will be constructed in two phases. Phase one, which includes the multi-purpose rink, is to be completed by October 2020. Phase two will have the tennis courts and gathering spaces and is to be completed October 2021.

Newman said since costs are low, they may even be able to accelerate both phases of the project.

“Through community engagement in the last year, we have seen excitement grow,” said Newman

“We think that the volunteers and community spirit will help maintain facilities for years to come.”

The group said they’d measure the success of the new facility by the usage, increased income for the community association, and a boost in memberships.

They, and area councillor Joe Magliocca, are required to report back to the committee on how the funds were spent, within 12 months of project completion.