Friday , 23 July 2021

Energy Centre will unveil expansion with free activities

The Energy Centre is officially unveiling their expansion to the public.

The third phase of the Energy Centre’s additions have been finished since last fall, but their official grand opening to the public is happening this Saturday with free activities.

On Saturday, there’s free rock wall climbing for ages seven and up from 11:00 am-6:00 pm, free bouncy houses in the Reid Field House from 11:00 am-3:00 pm, and free public skating from 1:30-2:30 pm in the new arena.

The grand opening ceremony will take place by the climbing wall at 11:00 am.

“The climbing wall is a big grand opening. It’s part of phase three and the artificial sports field, but we’re excited to unveil the climbing wall and people can come and learn how to practice on ropes, and it’s a feature that we wanted a part of it,” said Mayor Craig Copeland.

“We didn’t just want an arena, we wanted an added feature, and of course, climbing walls are very popular in Alberta, so we’re really pleased how well it turned out,” he said.

The Energy Centre expansion includes a second arena, 360-degree climbing wall, a lounge, office and storage space for local non-profit groups, a larger concourse area, and a mini-stick arena.

The most recent addition in the Energy Centre is a Booster Juice outlet.

“The lakeland has many young people and it’s going to be an added feature…the whole idea at the Energy Centre is it’s a one-stop shop for moms and dads that can bring their kids here.

“If one’s in a sport, the other kids can be busy. The climbing wall is sort of that connection, getting the kids trained up on how to climb the wall and away they go,” said Copeland.

There are still plans for more expansion at the Energy Centre, although Copeland said some of those are on hold.

Those include spaces for gymnastics and dance, areas designated for a future aquatics center and a future Lakeland Catholic high school, and a potential expansion of  Portage College.

“Really the idea, because Cold Lake is so spread out, the plan that was donated here by Imperial Oil was to put all the recreation, as much as we can, and the big education facilities here at this center, and it’s been a big success,” said Copeland.

Climbing wall

Climbing enthusiasts and those who just want to fun will get a free opportunity to check out the climbing wall on Saturday.

The Energy Centre wellness coordinator Devon Burgess explains that each of the rocks on the wall represents the path to follow.

“There are different grading systems for how the wall works. When you’re tied in on a five-six, five-eleven grading system…then every route is colour-coordinated so you would use those colours to get all the way up the top,” said Burgess.

“You don’t just pick whatever colour you want. If you do that route, then you can another one, maybe harder, maybe easier,” he said.

The climbing wall is open today from 5-8pm.

About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.