The City of Martensville, Sask., is set to develop on the west side of Highway 12 for the first time.
The project, seven years in the making, was announced in mid-August and includes a new multi-purpose recreation facility. City officials said this is important for the continued growth of the city as the current sports centre is 36 years old.
Ice time is hard to come by in for hockey teams, public skating and even summer sports. The hope is that will change after the unveiling of the new sports complex as part of the Trilogy Ranch subdivision.
“Any time you can increase recreation access, you are improving the health wellness of your community,” said Martensville Mayor Kent Muench.
Muench says 33 per cent of Martensville’s 10,383 residents are under the age of 19, many of whom are playing hockey.
It is one of the fastest-growing cities in the province over the last 15 years. Currently, the community has one hockey rink and one small indoor turf.
“A lot of minor hockey groups are using up to 50 per cent of their local ice time in other communities,” said Dillon Shewchuk, the city’s community/economic development manager.
“They have gone as far away as Lanigan for their ice time.”
Muench says the 25-year development project will bring over $1 billion in economic spin-off for the city, including 500 jobs, as well as house a projected 10,000 people. It is expected to feature 3,500 homes and will be one of the largest subdivisions in Saskatchewan over the next five years.
The 680-acre section of land, provided by CanWest and North Prairie Developments, is valued at $3 million.
“The vision of this city, Mayor Muench, and council has been extraordinary,” Canwest and North Prairie Developments president John Williams said in a statement.
“We have created a unique opportunity to propel a private-public partnership for future growth for Martensville and the wider region.”
Martensville Community Recreation Project (MCRP) chairperson Jesse Reis says the volunteer-led charity has raised over $300,000 for the project over the last five years. It will continue fundraising efforts down the road.
Reis says it provides avenues for kids to play hockey locally, avoiding added stress for families having to drive long distances. The city has outgrown its demand for recreation-related spaces.
“It allows us the opportunity to host events, supports local business when we host those events, the economic spinoff of these events,” Reis said.
Muench says the facility will cost over $10 million and fundraising, donations and programs in the community will help cover the fees. He is hoping they can get some aid from the provincial and federal governments as well.
In addition to an ice surface, it will also feature a full-sized soccer pitch and field house as part of the first phases of the project. It will house a wide range of seasonal sports and other events.
“It’s just such a great thing for Martensville, but also improve access to recreation in our community.”
Construction on the rec facility is scheduled to begin in March 2021 and is expected to be operational in 2022.