UNITED Health & RecPlex a great thing for Wolseley

UNITED Health & RecPlex a great thing for Wolseley

By: Rob Altemeyer, MLA for Wolseley

As published in The Metro

October 7th 2014

(From left to right) Wolseley MLA Rob Altemeyer with Premier Greg Selinger and Minister of Education and Advanced Learning James Allum stand in the newly unveiled University of Winnipeg RecPlex.

As students of all ages head back to the classroom this fall, I am particularly proud to have The University of Winnipeg in my constituency of Wolseley.

Recent news articles have commented on the remarkable transformation underway at the campus and the spinoff benefits for downtown Winnipeg. I couldn’t agree more. In fact, our government has had an important role to play in this development. Over $100 million has been invested in recent physical improvements to The University of Winnipeg, and the provincial government has been the largest single contributor by far.

The most recent example of this positive partnership was the opening of the brand-new $40-million UNITED Health & RecPlex. It houses a new indoor artificial turf field suitable for a wide range of sports, a four-lane regulation sprint track, private rooms for powwow and drumming groups, a studio for dance or fitness classes and a new 190- stall underground parkade to ease parking challenges on nearby streets.

The RecPlex will also strive to achieve at least a Silver rating from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification process. This is a requirement of our provincial government’s Green Building policy, which applies to any new building or major addition that receives provincial support. The benefits of this policy are visible in other campus buildings that have already achieved LEED Silver certification, such as the McFeetors Hall student residence which uses geothermal technology, and the UWSA Day Care Centre which uses natural lighting in many spaces. The new Richardson College for the Environment is also set to achieve LEED Silver certification. The wall art decorating the main atrium was made out of wood salvaged from the old roller rink that used to occupy the same location.

In my opinion, the most innovative feature of the RecPlex is actually not in the building, but the community charter that now guides its use. Ratified by the U of W Students’ Association and the Board of Regents, the charter was developed in consultation with local community residents and organizations to ensure that they too will have guaranteed access to the facility.

The university and all its partners are to be commended for this precedent-setting initiative, which ensures the health and wellness opportunities of the RecPlex are available to inner-city youth and their families and not just university students and staff.

The University of Winnipeg is a hub of creativity with no shortage of new ideas. Stay tuned for more good news in the days ahead!

If you would like to know more about recent government-funded projects at the University of Winnipeg feel free to contact my constituency office, by phone at 204-775-8575, by email at Rob.Altemeyer@yourmanitoba.ca or you can visit us at 222 Furby Street.