Three years ago, the Quispamsis town council decided to hire a research company to determine what the main needs were for the town with regard to recreation, sport and other community activities.
“The number one need from that was ice, and second was a pool. That helped form the basis of their decision to move forward with the qplex,” said Dana Purton Dickson, community services director at the Town of Quispamsis.
By this November, a dream that was formed after meeting with more than 30 different groups along with countless area residents will be a reality.
The qplex is a state-of-the-art sports and recreation facility that cost more than $24-million to build.
Inside the 86,760 square foot building is a staggering range of features. It includes an NHL size ice surface for hockey, figure skating and other ice sports with seating for more than 1,100, a 4,900 square foot conference room with theatre style seating for 320 and a commercial kitchen, a 3,340 square foot lobby, a pro shop, a 5,000 square foot YMCA/YWCA childcare site, a playground, outdoor pool fit for 370 swimmers, elevated three lane indoor walking track with low-impact surface and even a half-acre, fenced dog park.
The facility will help allow several local sports groups from the minor hockey associations to figure skating groups and gentleman’s hockey leagues to realize their potential after a few years of struggling to get on some ice, Ms. Purton Dickson said.
“They all have waiting lists right now,” she said.
Up to now, local minor hockey associations have dealt with a one practice to one game ratio, falling short of the Hockey Canada guidelines of two practices to one game ratio, she said.
“They’ll be able to meet that minimum standard,” she said.
Meanwhile, the local CanSkate programs, Skate Canada’s flagship learn-to-skate program, had a waiting list of over 100 kids and gentlemen’s hockey leagues have had to cap registration for years in the valley, she said.
“Hopefully they’ll be able to accommodate more,” she said.
Just as impressive as the features of the buildings is some of the environmental engineering that has gone into the structure. The building was built to Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification by the Canadian Green Building Council. Among the systems in place are geothermal heat recovery systems, rain and gray water collection recycle systems for ice, toilets and pool top ups, motion sensored lighting and the latest in energy efficient materials throughout the facility. Work around the 16 acre site will also include remediation on Matthew’s Cove and Saunders Brook.
There are several reasons the town wanted the facility to meet such high standards environmentally. The town is very environmentally aware, Ms. Purton Dickson said, and wanted this building to be a role model for the community. As well, the efficiencies built into the facility are expected to pay real dividends in cost savings.
“We’ve been told that the funding that we put towards the green energy and the environmental component of the building could pay for itself in as little as seven years,” she said.