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Resident has big vision for Energy Centre

A Cold Lake resident has a different spin on the options for the Energy Centre expansion. On Tuesday, April 25, Renato Duarte pitched his vision for an indoor multipurpose artificial turf field at the Cold Lake Energy Centre to council.

A Cold Lake resident has a different spin on the options for the Energy Centre expansion.

On Tuesday, April 25, Renato Duarte pitched his vision for an indoor multipurpose artificial turf field at the Cold Lake Energy Centre to council.

“Essentially, what I want to propose is that we optimize the addition and the expansion of the Energy Centre to include some multipurpose facilities to allow for the development of higher end sports, community-based sports and events,” explained Duarte.

The proposed facility would include a large indoor synthetic field that could be utilized for football, soccer, lacrosse, track and field, and rugby year-round. It would also include an indoor running track, and a space for other sports and community programs.

The advantages of including this type of facility are the year-round access it provides to sports associations, the athletic opportunities, a centralized location for coaching personnel, and it would draw outlying communities to the area for sporting and other events.

During his research, Duarte reached out to the president of the Alberta Soccer Association, who showed interest in hosting tournaments in Cold Lake should council move forward with the facility.

There are two directions council could go in terms of the outer-building; a standard hard top facility, similar to the current Reid Field House, or a soft-top dome.

Examples of hard top centres include the Commonwealth Centre in Edmonton, the SaskTel Soccer Centre in Saskatoon, and the Yara Centre in Moose Jaw. Soft-top, or dome, facilities that would be comparable to the city's options would be the University of Alberta dome at Foote Field, and centres in Toronto and Kingston.

Duarte presented some directions the city could go, including a full-sized synthetic turf field, approximately 110 metres by 70 metres. The advantages to this facility are that it maintains the concept of the Energy Centre, however it comes at a much higher cost compared to the domes $1.4 to $1.8 million price tag.

The field can be divided into four quarters with the use of curtains, allowing for multiple users in the facility at the same time.

Another alternative would consist of a smaller field, measuring 70 metres by 50 metres. It too would be enclosed in a hard structured facility. This field is about the same size as the city's current plan for two new field houses, and could fit into the space available, noted Duarte.

This option would also include the ability to subdivide the field in half or quarter sections.

“In this option, you would still end up with a track, just elevated around the perimeter,” Duarte added.

Option three would include the full-size field in a domed structure that would be attached to the Energy Centre, this comes at a more affordable cost.