Is Heights Pool, Crestwood Recreation Centre and the Moose Recreation Centre closed permanently?
A final decision on these three facilities has yet to be determined.
Each facility was closed in 2020 as part of the public health response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The City has an intense focus on altering cost structures through the Financially Fit program, alleviating tax requirements. With this in mind, facilities with low usage levels or those requiring significant capital upgrades were closed.
We are committed to meeting the needs of our residents while remaining financially responsible. The pool and recreation centres are aging facilities and require a significant capital investment in the immediate future in order to safely reopen to residents and visitors.
Once this public and stakeholder engagement process is complete, City Administration will present to Council for direction moving forward.
The City is continuing to update the Parks and Recreation Master Plan. What did that process show about facility closures?
Through the engagement process, we’ve learned that we need to take a deliberate focus on facility and amenity renewal and replacement. Additional public information sessions will help us understand the social and economic factors we need to consider before a decision is made by Council to either reinvest in existing facilities or to close them and replace them with new one.
A summary of the engagement findings can be found here.
How does the City decide if a facility is renovated or is replaced?
Our experts examine business cases, which identify the most practical solution for every facility and project. We look at trends and changes in facility design, technology and programming. Through this process we incorporate user and public feedback and consider a number of factors, such as the value that a facility has on neighbourhood identity, vibrancy and property assessment value.
This is an important process to help decide on the fate of all City amenities and facilities. Financial assessments are not the only determining factor.
How much of my tax dollars go towards Parks & Recreation amenities, facilities and programming?
On average, 27% of tax dollars (approx. $20M) is allocated to operations and maintenance in parks and recreational facilities and amenities.
Who has the City talked to throughout this process?
We have spoken with the YMCA, Medicine Hat Stampede & Exhibition, local school boards, Medicine Hat College, regional partners and local user groups have been consulted directly.
We will also be looking for all residents to provide input and feedback through an online survey, as well as attend in-person public information sessions taking place in November.