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Posted on: April 28, 2021

Banff area residents asked for input on Fenlands Recreation Centre Renewal

The Fenlands News

The Town of Banff has launched a public consultation to help ensure The Fenlands Banff Recreation Centre offers activities and programs that will be used by the widest range of residents. 

Earlier this year, the Banff Hockey Academy moved its operation from leased space in The Fenlands to a different community, presenting an opportunity to assess the use of vacated space. Residents will be asked if the Town should try to find another private operator for the space or explore other uses and activities for the area. The Town will also seek ideas for activities and programs in other areas of the recreation centre and the potential for a fieldhouse.

“We want to hear from people who have never visited The Fenlands, as well as those who go every week,” said Banff Mayor Karen Sorensen. “This is a great opportunity to imagine what new activities people from all walks of life could get excited about in making our beautiful recreation centre part of their weekly routine.”

The consultation will encourage participants to identify types of fitness, sports, arts, culture, courses and gatherings for space ranging from meeting rooms, activity space, lobbies and even the ice rinks in the summer season. The Town is seeking input from newcomers to Banff, long-time residents, existing facility users, teams, new clubs and community groups. 

“As our community evolves over time, we need to regularly check in to make sure our shared facilities deliver the space and programming that meet evolving interests, to ensure the long-term sustainability of The Fenlands,” said Sorensen.

Public consultation about the future of The Fenlands is funded by the Wim & Nancy Pauw Foundation. The consultation website at BanffViewPoints.ca/Fenlands shows the space available for reimagining and a links to a survey that opened today.

Two phases of public engagement will be conducted in the coming months, with recommendations for The Fenlands presented to Banff Town Council in the fall.

The first phase of engagement will take place from April 28 to May 26, and will involve an online workshop, an online survey, focus groups, community conversations and information walks. Design concepts will be created with activities and space configuration, based on public input. The second phase – planned for July – will involve compiling public feedback about the design concepts. 

The Fenlands Renewal project will seek opinions about:

  • Activity and program preferences
  • How change rooms and offices could be better used
  • Temporary summer use of the ice rinks and curling rink 
  • Opportunities for second floor space and storage rooms in the basement 
  • The use of the vacated leased/rental spaces
  • Creating fieldhouse space in summer on a rink surface, or building a new fieldhouse
  • Interest in leasing/renting space to a private ice sports business

Outside the scope of the consultation would be adding levels or expanding the overall space of The Fenlands, adding infrastructure that could not be accommodated, such as a swimming pool or expanding in the parking area or meadow. Also, the three rinks will continue to be used for ice sports in the winter months. 

Residents are invited to learn about consultation and provide their input at BanffViewpoints.ca/Fenlands

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