Shovels officially hit the ground Friday on the second phase of the westside Crossings Leisure Centre Complex.
“It’s a really exciting and large project for us,” said Jarle Lovlin, part of the architecture company that designed Phase Two.
“There’s a great sense of satisfaction that we’re going to do the full-blown leisure centre, and provide what other cities provide,” said Mayor Chris Spearman. “It’s a little bit overdue for Lethbridge, but it’s still exciting. It’s a huge investment, but it’s going to make a big difference in our community. I think it’s going to be a draw for all of southern Alberta.”
“Lethbridge is a really growing, vibrant place,” said Lethbridge West MLA Shannon Phillips. “Even through the economic downturn in the rest of the province, Lethbridge has continued to grow. It’s a diversified economy, and it’s a lesson to us all in diversification as more families move here.”
She said as a mother, she sees the facility to be a way for her family to spend quality time together.
“Over and above swim lessons and all the other things we schedule in our daily lives, it’s really important for families to schedule that leisure time where have really fun things to do. This facility will have a number of really fun things to do.”
Located at the corner of Britannia Boulevard and Mauretania Road West, Phase Two will be approximately 256,000 square feet and will include a leisure aquatics facility with waterslides, an adventure/lazy river, lap pool, surf simulator and a whirlpool as well as a multi-sport field house, fitness centre, indoor track, gymnasiums, child minding area, indoor playground, locker rooms, child care and commercial space.
Phase Two is scheduled for completion in 2019 and will adjoin the Phase 1 twin arenas and curling facilities which recently completed construction and are entering start-up stage. As a source of employment, Phillips said the Phase Two project will begin contributing to the local economy immediately.
Border officers busy with
A U.S. resident faces several charges after a woman was caught trying to smuggle a firearm into Canada last month.
When the woman arrived at the Coutts border crossing April 5, she told officers she didn’t have any guns in her possession. However, officers found a prohibited .357 handgun and charged 59-year-old Diane Lindsay of Ohio with smuggling and making false statements under the Customs Act, and unlawfully importing a handgun under the Criminal Code.
Officers at Coutts border crossing seized four undeclared handguns in three separate incidents in April.
In a second incident April 6, officers found a prohibited .380-calibre handgun in a lock box safe in an RV trailer and a prohibited .40-calibre handgun underneath clothes in a nearby laundry basket. They also seized, after X-raying boxes of household goods, two loaded overcapacity ammunition magazines.
An Alabama woman was arrested in connection to that incident, but she was allowed her to continue into Canada to Alaska without the prohibited items after she paid a $2,000 penalty for failing to declare them.
On April 28, officers at Coutts arrested a Montana man after finding a restricted .45-calibre handgun in the dresser of a travel trailer he was hauling. He paid a $1,000 penalty for failing to declare the gun and was sent back to the United States for committing an offence upon entry.
Motorcyclist killed in collision
A 47-year-old Lethbridge man is dead after his motorcycle was rear-ended by a car Saturday night.
Members from the Coaldale RCMP and Lethbridge Fire/EMS were dispatched to the collision around 9:30 p.m. on Highway 512 near Range Road 211.
RCMP say both vehicles were heading eastbound on Highway 512, when the motorcycle slowed down or stopped, attempting to turn north when it was struck from behind by the small car.
Emergency personnel transported the motorcycle driver, 47-year-old Robert Gary Kern of Lethbridge, to the Chinook Regional Hospital in grave condition. Kern was later pronounced deceased at the hospital.
The driver of the small car, an 18-year-old female, was also taken to CRH with non-serious injuries.
The highway was blocked off for about six hours to allow an RCMP collision reconstruction specialist to conduct an investigation. The cause of the crash is still under investigation and no charges have yet been laid.