Airdrie advice on finding the best ways to allocate recreational facilities –

Brad Anderson, Manager of Genesis Place, briefed Airdrie City Council on current allocation practices at recreation facilities in the City of Airdrie.

“As Airdrie’s population approaches 80,000, the ability of recreation facilities to balance and meet the demands expressed in all three basic service types is impossible. For any additional hours allocated to programming to accommodate course growth, there is a negative inverse impact on the number of hours available to rental groups who are already experiencing a facility deficit based on size. of their membership.

According to Anderson, a tournament or special event booked during the primary season has the potential to displace thousands of scheduled visits from residents who have already expressed frustration at being unable to access taxpayer-funded facilities at scheduled times. great listening.

“The fact that there are no documented policies or guidelines on how decisions should be made or how priorities are set adds to the challenge of allocating space. ” Anderson said.

There are currently over 8,300 Genesis Place pass holders, almost 11% of Airdrie’s total population. Additionally, in the past 30 days, there have been almost 60,000 walk-in visits to Genesis Place, representing almost 77% of Airdrie’s total population.

“Beyond typical prime time, the facility has been able to attract and grow the segment of seniors during off-peak hours of the week who participate in pickleball, lane swimming and aquatic fitness in dry areas.”

As Airdrie embarks on planning for a new facility, according to Anderson, there are a number of points to consider and further engage with residents to meet the needs for spontaneous and unstructured activity in our community.

“Future facility development may provide the ability to accommodate diverse service types and multiple facilities while protecting unstructured spontaneous use.”

For example, public swimming could be offered every night of the week during prime time, both at a new facility and at Genesis Place, to ensure that a young family can go any night. of the week.

The community’s desire for recreation programs scored high in some categories of the recent Community Recreation Needs Assessment.

“Specific programs that were identified as top needs in the survey included fitness exercise instruction, swimming lessons, day camps, and introduction to sports programming.” continues Anderson.

Allocation strategies should span between existing and future installations, according to Anderson, to ensure that if certain types of services are dominant during a period or season, another installation can take over other types of services for ensure that all needs are met.

“A space allocation framework is recommended to guide the equitable distribution of space among the three basic service types in all major amenities. This would ensure that space is allocated in a consistent and transparent manner that best matches the obvious needs of the community and the wishes of the city council.

According to Anderson, there were three options before the Board to choose from:

  1. The board may choose to accept the recommendation of the Community Services Advisory Board (CSAB) to accept the information contained in this report and prepare a space allocation framework to guide the equitable distribution of space among three types of basic services in all major types of equipment.

  1. Council may choose to accept this report for information only. The implication of this report is that the space allocation process would remain undocumented and not necessarily aligned with the broader evidence needs of the community.

  1. The last option is that the council could choose to request additional information from the administration before making a decision.

After many questions and comments from the councillors, they decided to approve the recommendation to accept the set of principles that will help staff, which was option number one.

To see what else was discussed at the city council meeting, check out their agenda.

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