A grand opening has been set for the Hay River Recreation Centre.
A ribbon-cutting and other special activities to mark the grand opening will take place on June 15.
Construction of the Rec Centre actually finished in March of last year, at least enough for it to open for the Arctic Winter Games.
Glenn Smith, the assistant senior administrative officer (SAO) with the Town of Hay River, said it is fair to say that a grand opening did not happen over a year ago because of the Arctic Winter Games.
“It was down to the wire in terms of opening up for the Arctic Winter Games and all resources were focused on it,” said Smith, who was not working for the town at the time.
A grand opening is happening now because it was requested as part of a funding arrangement for construction of the Rec Centre.
“With funding that is received from government, there is usually a requirement to have an opening of the facility to celebrate and recognize the contributions made from the various parties,” Smith explained. “We also see it as an opportunity, of course, to celebrate.”
The assistant SAO noted many groups in the community, including a build committee, town administration, town council and volunteer organizations, put time into the process that saw the Rec Centre built.
“So there are a lot of people that should be recognized for the efforts that they put into building this great community complex, and, as such, we want to have that celebration,” he said. “It’s a little late, but we definitely feel that it’s needed, and we look forward to celebrating that with the many people that contributed to this project, as well as with the community.”
Smith noted that, since the Rec Centre opened, work has continued to address some deficiencies, which he said is normal for a construction project.
The grand opening is expected to feature a number of special guests, including Mayor Kandis Jameson, Western Arctic MP Michael McLeod and a representative of the territorial Department of Municipal and Community Affairs.
“There’ll be various guests invited that were related to the construction of the building,” said Smith.
The event is scheduled to begin with speeches at 1:30 p.m. on June 15, and the ribbon-cutting will take place just before 2 p.m.
Live entertainment will be featured and a community meal will follow.
The grand opening ceremonies are set to take place in the front parking area of the Rec Centre, or inside the facility if the weather is inclement.