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State-of-the-Art Rec Centre Opens in Niverville

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Ribbon Cutting Crop
The ribbon-cutting: Councillor Chris Wiebe, Councillor Nathan Dueck, Mayor Myron Dyck, MLA Ron Schuler, Councillor Kevin Stott, and Deputy Mayor John Funk. Joey Villanueva

On July 1, the Town of Niverville marked the official grand opening of the Community Resource and Recreation Centre. The $19.5 million facility has long been in the works. It was first proposed six years ago and construction broke ground in July 2019.

“It’s truly an exciting day for all of us here in Niverville,” said Niverville Mayor Myron Dyck in his remarks. “Through the years, council and the community has kept this dream. Some have had it for a lot longer than myself… I’m just very grateful for everyone that has been involved. A project like this doesn’t come together except for the support of some very key people.”

Mayor Dyck went on to acknowledge many of the people involved with the project, from the upper levels of government to the volunteers and town staff who handled so much of the legwork over the last several years.

“This project has been just a real treat,” he said. “It’s probably been, if not the highlight, then for sure one of the top couple of highlights for me in having the privilege to be able to serve the people of Niverville, to be able to be part of this team.”

He called the day a celebration of teamwork—both the many teams behind the scenes that have made the CRRC a reality and the sports teams that will draw people here for years to come.

Mayor Dyck also gave special recognition to the team of construction workers and tradespeople who have gone the extra mile to ensure the building stands apart.

“It’s not just visible in the mortar or boards and screws, but also in their heart and their passion,” Dyck said. “You can see it in the workmanship that’s been done. They have given it their all and we are truly grateful for that. So that is what we celebrate today: what can be accomplished when a team comes together for a common goal.”

Also on hand for the ribbon-cutting was local MLA Ron Schuler, as well as the members of Niverville’s council: deputy mayor John Funk alongside councillors Chris Wiebe, Nathan Dueck, and Kevin Stott.

“On behalf of our premier, Brian Pallister, and the government, thank you for joining us on this beautiful day,” said Schuler. “Thank you to the town, almost city, of Niverville for hosting us. I want to thank His Worship Myron Dyck and your leadership. I would like to actually claim all of this as having been my doing, but I can’t. I think it is really the mayor and council and others who came before you. This is your win, your day.”

Schuler also thanked the federal government for their contributions to the project. He noted that the CRRC was the first project in Manitoba to be funded by the Investing in Canada infrastructure program and received a $7.8 million grant from the Government of Canada, as well as an additional $3.5 from the provincial government.

“This multifunctional recreation culture facility is a great contribution to the town,” Schuler added. “It serves to improve the quality of the community and demonstrates our government’s commitment to investing in culture and recreational infrastructure… It’s a great facility. It is absolutely beautiful.”

Schuler said that a facility like this allows the town to really grow beyond a bedroom community, by providing much-needed recreational programming that keeps a town vibrant.

“What this allows for is for people to buy here, move here with their families, and have something to do here. That’s what people want,” he said. “They want to have a holistic community that includes everything. It’s very important to have a place to go to do physical activity. We have to stay healthy. We want our young people to have a place to go and not be out getting into trouble. They can be here and be involved.”

After these remarks, representatives from the local media were invited inside for a tour of the facility.

Upon entering the front doors, visitors find themselves in a spacious lobby which stretches the full length of the building. One end features the main washrooms, a seating area, a trophy case, and a yet-to-be-completed donor wall to recognize the many people who have made contributions to the building of the CRRC.

On the other end, visitors will find a multipurpose space and a community kitchen—these rooms weren’t quite ready to be shown off—as well as the hallway link to the Niverville High School.

But at the far west end of the building, there is one particularly impressive feature which families across the region should be getting very excited about: the indoor playground.

The indoor playground is a sight to behold. The structure rises the full height of the building, presenting children with a maze of dizzying ramps, slides, and obstacle-course-like features that will keep them busy for hours.

“This is a piece that a lot of people will be pretty excited about,” said Warren Britton, the Town of Niverville’s Rec Facility Manager, with a broad smile on his face. “I can tell you that one morning I had to do a walkthrough of this space and I had to try every slide! It’s honestly fantastic. There was a lot of discussion as to the different features.”

A bathroom is located just off the playground area so that parents won’t have to bustle their children from one end of the expansive building to the other.

Britton added that access to the indoor playground, as well as to the running/walking track along the mezzanine level of the fieldhouse, will come at a small cost.

“The playground and the running track will be membership-based,” Britton said. “We’ve set the prices really reasonable. So for a household, for a Niverville resident, it’s $50 per year. This is a really, really fun space… and I don’t know how you get a kid out of there if they don’t want to leave.”

Mayor Dyck is similarly excited about the indoor playground.

“To be able to hear the sound of children at play is music to my ears,” Dyck said. “To know that there’s going to be children interacting with one another, and just the innocence and freedom of them at play, and then the relationships that will form with the other parents groups that will be there at the same time, that’s just huge.”

Just a few feet away from the playground is the cavernous fieldhouse, which can be divided into a number of smaller sports courts to provide a great deal of flexibility. The entire floorspace can be used as a full futsal (indoor soccer) court, or the centre of the room can be converted to showcase a feature basketball or volleyball court. Alternatively, the space can accommodate two individual basketball courts, three volleyball courts, or nine badminton courts.

To provide further flexibility, built-in electronics are able to raise and lower the basketball nets, lower court separator curtains, and control the overhead lights individually. There are three scoreboards, which can either be used separately or connected to show results from the same game.

The fieldhouse is adjoined by three change rooms, as well as two locker rooms. During the tour, bleachers were erected for 350 spectators—but the number of bleachers can be expanded depending on how much floorspace is being used for each event.

As announced last week, the fieldhouse will also be home to the various men’s and women’s teams from Providence University come fall. Their volleyball, basketball, and futsal teams will be playing their home games in this facility.

Overlooking the fieldhouse is a large walking/running track, which features three lanes. It also provides an outstanding view for those needing standing room when the bleachers may be full.

“Our other gyms in town are utilized by our kids, but there’s no opportunity for adults in Niverville to get involved in any kind of recreation in them because they’re full,” said Mayor Dyck. “To now have a facility like this, where we can have wellness and recreation for adults… it’s an incredible opportunity for people where they no longer have to leave the community to find it.”

The fieldhouse will also be used for more than just sports. Carpet can be rolled across the floor, converting the space into a large event hall able to accommodate up to 1,500 people. In the future, the town’s well-attended Remembrance Day services will likely be relocated to the CRRC from the Heritage Centre, where they have drawn packed crowds for many years.

On the other side of the CRRC, visitors will encounter the new arena. The first thing they may notice is just how brightly lit it is. According to Britton, the arena lights are capable of producing the level of intensity required by TSN games.

“So if we were to host an event that’s televised, we’re set up for that,” said Britton. “But we probably will not run the lights at 100 percent at all times, because it’s, like, ridiculous.”

To date, the arena has seating for 750 spectators, although there is room to expand that number. Part of the agreement to bring a new MJHL team to Niverville is a provision to install seating for more than 1,000. The town is currently in discussions about increasing the amount of seating, but no announcements are ready to be made yet.

The seating itself had not yet been installed at the time of the tour, due to some shipping delays from the supplier. Britton estimates that the seats will arrive in about two weeks.

Those seats have been a key component of the CRRC’s fundraising effort. Donors were able to buy seats for $1,000 each. The names of these donors will be featured on the seats themselves on nameplates.

Another feature which Britton highlighted is that the glass boards are curved, something which he says makes Niverville’s arena stand alone.

“I’m told we might be the only rink in Manitoba with this,” he said. “It just keeps the seams looking a little nicer. It’s just a really nice feature.”

Yet another feature has to do with providing greater accessibility for players. The bench areas, where the teams sit, can be converted to allow for sledge hockey.

Britton added that the arena will have ice in it at least ten months of the year. In fact, the ice plant will be turned on by August 12, to allow for arena programming to begin by August 15.

However, that doesn’t necessarily mean the arena will sit idle during the summer months. The space is large enough to be used for any number of community events, and Britton noted that some rinks in Manitoba open for lacrosse in the summertime.

The arena also comes with a state-of-the-art Zamboni as well as digital advertising boards.

On a more technical level, Britton spent some time detailing the geothermal system which runs the ice plant. There’s 80,000 feet of pipe below the ice surface, and an additional 120,000 feet north of the high school.

A couple of reporters on the tour asked about the possibility of one day expanding the CRRC to include a second ice surface.

“As far as space goes, there’s a ton of land in the vicinity that could be used for that,” said Councillor Nathan Dueck. “That’s another conversation, I guess. But yes, you could add a second ice surface.”

Below the bleachers, there are six dressing rooms. They are, for the most part, identical to each other—except two of them are fully accessible. This space also includes a series of storage rooms, a ref room, and a first aid room.

Upstairs, the second level includes a large meeting space straddling the fieldhouse and arena, with excellent views of both. The space can be divided into two separate 1,600-square-foot rooms, which can be used for a broad variety of activities. These rooms have rubberized floors, making them well-suited to aerobics and yoga classes. They could also be used to host meetings.

An intriguing aspect of the facility which hasn’t yet been installed is a museum area on the second floor which will be dedicated to telling the history of our region. This will likely be one of the last parts of the facility to be finished, likely around mid-August. More details about the historical exhibit will be available later in the summer.

The second level also includes a pair of additional washrooms.

So with the CRRC opening for tours, the obvious question is: how much longer will it be before the building is officially put to use?

The answer? Not long.

Day camps will start already on Monday, July 5, bringing a host of young people into the facility for the first time. And when families get their first glimpse of the many recreational facilities now available to them here in Niverville, they’re going to like what they see.



Photo 1: The arena and bleachers, as seen from the accessible viewing deck on the second floor.



Photo 2: The arena at ice level, featuring the state-of-the-art Zamboni.



Photo 3: The upstairs meeting rooms, with views of both the arena and fieldhouse.


Photo 4: The fieldhouse, at ground level.


Photo 5: The fieldhouse, from the running track mezzanine.


Photo 6: The running track encircles the fieldhouse on the second level.


Photo 7: The impressive, and very tall, indoor playground.


Photo 8: Another view of the indoor playground and its extensive play features.


Photo 9: An historical exhibit will be included on the second floor, although construction will continue on this feature until mid-summer.

For more information

Tours of the CRRC are available to the general public. If you are interested in getting a look inside the facility, get in touch with the town office to arrange a visit.

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Citizen Poll

With the announcement of Niverville's MJHL franchise and the Providence Pilots playing their home games at the CRRC, what are your plans for game attendance?

For related article, see link below.
https://nivervillecitizen.com/...

https://nivervillecitizen.com/...