Terwillegar Community Recreation Centre

The Terwillegar Community Recreation Centre (TCRC) opened its doors on January 29, 2011, finally revealing the $160 expenditure and the City’s largest recreation facility in thirty years. I don’t venture out into Terwillegar that often, so a board meeting scheduled to take place at the rec centre was a nice excuse to check out the new digs.

Like anything sparkly and new, the facility is impressive, but even more so because of its size. I do support smaller, neighbourhood-based facilities (where driving isn’t necessary), but the TCRC is located near residential communities and next to two high schools and a bus station just a short ride away from Century Park.

Natural light permeates many of the public spaces – the fitness centre, the pool, the children’s areas. It is amazing how much difference that, coupled with high ceilings, makes to the feel of the building (my memories of City rec centres involve the Mill Woods Recreation Centre – a concrete box if there ever was one).

They have four NHL-sized arenas, one with a side of spectator bleachers, knowing that hockey tournaments will be (and already have been) hosted there.

Ice surface

One of the ice surfaces

I didn’t take a photo of the aquatic centre, but it looked like the place to be. In addition to lane swim, have a thirty-person whirlpool, a waterslide, and a fun lazy river for children. It is noteworthy that they use saltwater (instead of chlorine).

The indoor children’s playground was full when our tour group went by – apparently, it is in such demand they need to use a buzzer system similar to what restaurants use to alert parents that there is space available. TCRC, like many other rec centres, also offers childminding services.

Childminding room

Childminding room

The fitness centre was my favourite area – bright and airy on the second floor, I loved that the jogging track wrapped around the main equipment space, and also provided views of the aquatic centre.

Fitness Centre

Fitness centre

There are a great many programming rooms also, and some build with specific activities in mind – for example, the yoga studio with dehumidifiers, meant for hot yoga.

Aerobics room

Aerobics studio with sprung floor

The flexihall has the capacity to be divided into three gymnasiums. They can be booked, but on that day, all of them were being used for drop-in activities.

TCRC has even budgeted for public art – including this amusing sculpture above the rotunda.

Cat in an afghan

Cat in an afghan

Perhaps even more surprising – there is both a Second Cup and a Dairy Queen/Orange Julius on site! The lease space is great idea to help recoup some of the costs of the building, and given its proximity to two secondary schools, the food outlets will likely be a bang-on success.

Second CupDQ

How about some ice cream or coffee with your workout?

Some of the meeting rooms were very nice (including one of the more private spaces, with a view of Edmonton’s downtown skyline). The meeting room we used that night, however, had the unfortunate placement of being just below the weights machines in the fitness area. Suffice to say, we experienced a disruptive number of dropped weights, something TCRC should look into.

Meeting room

Meeting room

All in all, the Terwillegar Community Recreation Centre is something the City should be proud of – and given the number of people using it on a random Tuesday night, it’s safe to say that it may be both well loved and well used!

The Terwillegar Community Recreation Centre is holding their grand opening tomorrow, February 26, 2011, from 2-5pm. Cake will be served!