New and impressive multi-sport facility on its way to Cochrane

by • November 15, 2016 • Community

By Shari Fenn, Content Contributor

The Town of Cochrane is adding a state-of-the-art aquatic and curling facility to the current multi-sport facility centre.

This impressive addition will make sports facilities of old seem almost unrecognizable.

The curling facility and aquatic centre will be among the finest in Canada.

Not only attracting locals, but people from around the Calgary Region.

For residents in Cochrane, this project has been a long time coming.

For others in the Calgary Region, it means a healthy option for a day trip to:

  • Try curling with friends and family
  • Train in the new 8 lane swimming pool
  • Heal your body from stress in the new water therapy pool.


Meeting all of the community’s recreational needs

Cochrane swimming pool rendering

Cochrane swimming pool rendering

This 120,000 square foot addition to the current Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre will provide all indoor recreational needs for Cochrane and area under one roof.

Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre is Cochrane’s recreation and fitness hub.

It is owned 50-50 by Town of Cochrane and Rocky View County.

It has been managed by Spray Lake Sawmills Recreation Park Society since 2001.

The Society has Board of Volunteer Directors made up of active citizens and community stakeholders.

Cochrane Mayor Ivan Brooker is thrilled with the addition to the facility.

“The community is eager for the opening of this new addition to an already busy facility. There have been many people involved over the years with developing the concept, finalizing the design and fundraising for the expansion,” Brooker says.

“It will be big attraction for Cochrane,” he adds.


Opening in 2017

Curling rink construction

The Town of Cochrane is half way through the construction of the new aquatic centre and curling/multi-sport facility.

The excitement is growing in the community for the opening of this addition in 2017.


Therapy, waves, lanes and more 

The pool will have:

  • eight 25-metre lanes for competitive and lane swimming
  • two water slides
  • hot tub
  • warm water therapy pool
  • leisure pool with a lazy river and waves

Six full and three junior curling sheets


Cochrane curling rink rendering

An oversized pad was built to accommodate six full and three junior curling sheets.

In the off-season this oversized pad will be able to be used for indoor turf sports.

Other resources at the facility

SLS has almost 200,000 square feet of space and over 10,000 weekly users in its multiple spaces including:

  • three NHL-size ice surfaces
  • full indoor soccer turf
  • indoor running/walking track
  • full gymnasium
  • multi-purpose space
  • child minding centre
  • University of Calgary gymnastics facility
  • martial arts centre
  • Cochrane Sport Physiotherapy/Massage
  • Edge Sports
  • The Skating Lab


How this multi-sport facility came to be

The Town of Cochrane identified the need for a larger aquatic facility when it developed the Parks, Recreation and Culture Facilities Master Plan in 2008.

With a growing population, and the current pool seeing over 4,000 people for lessons each year, it was obvious to Council and administration that the Town would soon outgrow the current facility.

A 2009 feasibility study gathered information from similar municipalities, local stakeholders and through a local phone survey.

The study results led to a cost estimate in 2010 and a draft schematic design in 2011.

Provincial budget funding was identified in 2012 and a fundraising campaign was another source of funding.

The Town of Cochrane worked with Rocky View County to support a facility that will service residents in both communities.


Funding for the new facility

Cochrane pool construction

According to Suzanne Gaida, Senior Manager of Community Services, Cochrane and the project lead, this is the right time for this phase of the project.

“We have worked hard on the plans for a new aquatic and curling/multisport facility to ensure we are meeting the majority of the communities needs for swimming and curling.”

“We’ve also done a lot of work on the planning to ensure we have a solid foundation for our fundraising program, called Rock the Waves, ” Gaida says.

Total capital cost for the new aquatic and curling/multisport centre is $48 million.

Funding sources include:

  • Cochrane’s contribution (funded from Provincial MSI grants) – $25.9 million
  • Rocky View County contribution – $2.2 million
  • Federal Gas Tax Grant – $2.3 million
  • Developer community enhancement fees – $7 million
  • Fundraising and sponsorship program called Rock the Waves, – $10.6 million

Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre, Cochrane Curling Club and the Cochrane and District Warm Water Therapy Pool Society, are all partners in the fundraising campaign.


Interested in donating or sponsorship?

The facility will serve Cochrane’s growing community for many years to come.

There are many opportunities for sponsorship of specific features and elements.

You may also want to donate to this extraordinary facility that will enhance the quality of life to those in and surrounding the great community of Cochrane.

Visit the Rock the Waves website  or contact Suzanne Gaida, Senior Manager of Community Services at or 403-851-2550 to talk about an opportunity that might be a good fit for you.

Construction updates are available on the website as well.

Shari Fenn is a Canadian storyteller, inbound content writer and owner of Cross Communications Inc.

One Response

  1. Leroy Durand says:

    I do not see any mention of the “Seniors On The Bow Society”.
    Our facility is very well utilized, with many town of Cochrane programs as well as drop in programs provided by Seniors On The Bow.

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