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Federal government pledges millions to upgrade WinSport day lodge

The Federal government announced that $17.4 million would be put towards a multi-million dollar upgrade of WinSport’s aging day lodge facility.

That facility, which began as the media centre for the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics, has not received a significant upgrade in 35 years.

“With this renovation, WinSport can continue to support the hundreds of thousands of community members, athletes and guests who visit the park each year, preserving the day lodge as a vital community gathering place for generations to come,” said Barry Heck, WinSport CEO and President.

“This project will renovate, revitalize and expand the 35-year-old day lodge, adding modern energy efficiency and important accessibility elements to the design.”

The entire renovation project is expected to cost between $39 and $43 million. Construction will begin in Spring 2023 following the 2022 ski season, and is expected to last 18 months.

The funding from the federal government is being provided through the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings program.

WinSport day lodge in Calgary on Tuesday, August 30, 2022. The venerable media centre turned day lodge for the 1988 Winter Olympics is getting a $17.4 million upgrade to make the facility more accessible and energy efficient. ARYN TOOMBS / FOR LIVEWIRE CALGARY

More inclusive, accessible, and energy efficient facility

Changes to the day lodge include elimination of stairs from the parking lot to the ski hill, improved flow through the building, and expansion of the rental shop, food court, and deck space. Washrooms will be upgraded with additional and renovated space for accessibility and inclusivity.

“As a three-time Paralympian with cerebral palsy, I learned to ski at Canada Olympic Park at the age of six.” said Paralympic skier Alana Ramsay in a news release about the upgrades.

“Revitalizing the day lodge to be more inclusive and accessible removes so many barriers for those who thought sport and recreation wasn’t possible.”

The day lodge will also be renovated to be more energy efficient, with the goal of turning it into a net-zero energy use facility.

WinSport said that the goal for all the upgrades was to ensure that the day lodge remained a popular destination for visitors and athletes for the next 40 years.