WORK BEGINS ON UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA'S NEW WORLD-CLASS ACTIVE LIVING CENTRE
Winnipeg, Manitoba, October 11, 2012 – Dignitaries gathered today to celebrate the start of construction of the new Active Living Centre, at the University of Manitoba. On hand were the Honourable Greg Selinger, Premier of Manitoba, the Honourable Steven Fletcher, Minister of State (Transport) and Member of Parliament for Charleswood-St. James-Assiniboia, Winnipeg Mayor Sam Katz, University of Manitoba President David Barnard, and former University of Manitoba Bison football player (and current National Football League player) Israel Idonije.
“This new world-class sports and recreation centre will benefit students and staff on campus and will offer some exciting opportunities for families from the local community,” said Premier Selinger. “We’re creating new opportunities for people of all ages to get active, right in their community, because it’s a priority for Manitobans and because we know it will have lasting benefits well into the future.”
“Our Government is proud to support the construction of this world-class sport and fitness centre -one of the largest of its kind in Manitoba,” said Minister of State Fletcher. “This investment will help to create well paying jobs and strengthen our local economy here in Winnipeg. When complete in 2015, it will help build a strong, sustainable and healthy community.”
“The City of Winnipeg is pleased to support the Active Living Centre with $2.5 million obtained from the sale of the Polo Park stadium site,” said Mayor Katz. “Students and staff at the University of Manitoba campus come from all corners of Winnipeg. Soon they will have the opportunity to build active living into their academic day, with a modern, bright fitness facility.”
“The Active Living Centre builds on the transformative change at the University of Manitoba in the spaces where we live, work, study, discover and play,” said Dr. Barnard. “Not only will the centre become a primary gateway to the heart of campus, but it will also enhance significantly the University of Manitoba’s commitment to a culture of active, sustainable living.”
Each year, more than 7,800 students and 1,000 staff and community members use the Faculty of Kinesiology and Recreation Management’s facility at the University of Manitoba. The Faculty promotes sport and active living through various university and community programs for people of all ages and will be home to the new Active Living Centre.
The new four-storey, open-concept facility, with its luminous glass exterior, will house a high-performance training facility for elite athletes, a state-of-the-art indoor running track, a 12-metre climbing wall, an Applied Research Centre, a gathering area for students, strength and conditioning facilities, and three group workout studios.
The $46-million centre (which is the keystone part of a group of Active Living Projects worth $59-million) received joint federal and provincial funding of $20 million under the Provincial-Territorial Base Fund. The City of Winnipeg is also providing $2.5 million of the net proceeds from the sale of the Polo Park Stadium site, with the balance of the funding being provided by the University of Manitoba.
This 100,000-square-foot facility will support an active lifestyle for students, staff, and the community alike. The new Active Living Centre will replace the current fitness facility (dubbed the “Gritty Grotto”). Upon its completion in 2015, this modern, eco-friendly building will accommodate more than 2,000 patrons per day, making it the largest active living facility in Manitoba.