After over 70 years of service, the Selkirk Arena (The Barn) and Memorial Hall are both looking to retire. With the retirement of these two facilities, the city is looking to its citizen to find out what sort of services they would like a replacement facility to provide.
On Wednesday, March 18 from 5 – 8p.m. the City is inviting residents to an open house at the Gaynor Family Regional Library to express their thoughts on what will go into a new facility that will eventually replace the Selkirk Arena and Memorial Hall.
Big projects require some help
Sandra Schmidtke of Republic Architecture, who the City has brought on to help with the process, says the open house is a great starting point to hear initial thoughts from the community and help build a starting point for future questions and surveys.
“This is the first public opportunity for residents to voice their opinions about the future of recreation facilities in their community,” said Schmidtke.
“We’ll have members of the Republic team and from the City to answer questions, and a long-form survey that will help pose future questions down the road.”
More ways to voice your opinion
The open house is part of a larger public engagement effort that will happen over the summer and into the fall. This engagement will include pop-up events, online surveys, and mailers sent to your door.
The City’s Recreation Master Strategy, created back in 2016, recommended the development of a multi-purpose facility that will likely be located at the site where the Selkirk Arena and Memorial Hall currently sit.
Chief Administrative Officer Duane Nicol says the feasibility study is a critical part of the planning process to ensure the financial viability of the project.
“Our master strategy identified the need to replace these facilities and offer a high-level vision for what’s next. This feasibility study builds on that work by drilling down and finding out specifically the types of services our citizens are looking for,” said Nicol.
“This will help build a sustainable plan to fund construction and the ongoing operation of the facility.”
Letting citizens shape the services they use
Brady Clark, Director of Culture, Recreation and Green Transportation says that since it’s the citizens of Selkirk that will be using this facility, the City wants to give them every opportunity to have a say in what goes into it.
“This is a big investment in the heart of our downtown. Our Strategic Plan calls for the city to provide the best recreation opportunities for our residents, and we want to collect as much information as possible so this facility is used to its full potential,” said Clark
Big decisions require smart investments
While this feasibility study will help the city choose what goes into the facility, it will also help determine what’s possible on both a space available and financial standpoint.
“We want to be smart with how we spend these dollars. We won’t be able to provide all things to all people, but with good participation from our citizens, we’ll be able to make better, citizen-focused decisions about this investment” said Nicol.
Nicol said that this project should also be seen as part of the larger vision for the city’s recreation facilities.
“The information we receive for this project will help inform the planning for future elements of our recreation master strategy. Our strategy lays out a broad, 25-year vision identifying many potential projects and initiatives totaling almost $40 million dollars. That’s a huge number, but with thoughtful planning we can get there in a financially responsible way.”