Cochrane and Rocky View County exploring options for recreation service delivery

(Cochrane, AB) – The Town of Cochrane and Rocky View County are jointly exploring alternative models for Cochrane’s recreation facilities, working to ensure the service model continues to be responsive and adaptable to the growing needs of the community. 

As joint owners of the SLS Centre (SLSC) and Cochrane Arena, the Town and County are jointly issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) to explore operating models for Cochrane recreation facilities. As Cochrane continues to grow and change, reviewing how recreation services are delivered is critical to ensuring the model meets the needs of the community today and for years to come. 

The SLS Centre is a not-for-profit organization and a registered charity, governed by a volunteer Board of Directors made up of active citizens and stakeholders in the community.

“We are grateful for the commitment of the Board for volunteering their time to oversee the operations of the SLS Centre and Cochrane Arena for over 20 years,” said Cochrane Mayor Genung. “Council has heard from numerous user groups about the need for additional recreational spaces and the time has come to start planning for these facilities. The RFP will explore new operating models that can support the current and future needs for recreation centers in Cochrane. Through this process we will enhance and expand Cochrane’s recreation capacity, while minimizing impact to taxpayers.”

Reeve Kissel of Rocky View County added, “This RFP represents a proactive step to ensure our recreational facilities continue to meet the needs of our community. Rocky View County is committed to finding collaborative solutions with our partners that will uphold and enhance the high-quality, accessible services our residents have grown to expect."

As Cochrane’s recreation needs continue to evolve and grow with the community, the RFP aims to assess and identify the best operational practices to ensure the SLS Centre’s sustainability and accessibility for years to come. 

“With the significant growth we are experiencing and the need for additional recreation facilities in the near future, we are evaluating the status quo to ensure that theoperating and governance model continue to best serve our communities’ needs,” said CAO Mike Derricott, Town of Cochrane.  

“Since its inception, the SLS Board has proudly served the diverse needs of Cochrane, Rocky View County and surrounding communities,” said Brad Nadeau, SLS Centre Board President. “The Board has always been focused on ensuring our community has access to recreation facilities and programming. As this exploratory process unfolds, we will work to ensure that the community can continue to build on this legacy that the Board has laid the foundation for.” 

The RFP, which will be released by early June, invites interested parties to submit proposals for the stewardship of these facilities. Cochrane and Rocky View County provided the SLS Board of Directors and leadership team with advance notice of the RFP. There is a joint commitment from all parties that the RFP process will not impact the ongoing delivery of recreation services in Cochrane. 

About Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre and Cochrane Arena

The SLSC and Cochrane Arena are jointly owned and subsidized by the Town of Cochrane and Rocky View County. These facilities represent significant community investments and are among the largest multi-use recreation facilities in Alberta, offering a wide range of activities and programs that cater to diverse community needs.

In 2001, a group of community volunteers, in partnership with the Town of Cochrane and Rocky View County, built a new hockey arena in Cochrane which is now known as Totem 1. Over the next 15 years, the facility was expanded to include all current amenities. Throughout this time, the volunteer Board of Directors has provided governance and oversight to the SLS Centre and Cochrane Arena. 

The SLS Centre is one of the largest multi-use recreation facilities in Alberta. Facilities include three ice arenas, aquatic centre, curling centre, climbing wall, indoor turf, fitness centre, gymnasium, indoor track, gymnastics centre, high performance sports training facility, physiotherapy, food and beverage outlets, preschool, and many other physical and social well-being programs. The SLS Centre also operates the Cochrane Arena, a single ice arena facility located near the tri-schools site in Cochrane. 

FAQ: Cochrane Recreation Facility RFP 

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Media inquiries can be directed to:
Town of Cochrane
Intergovernmental Relations & Communications

Rocky View County
Communications & Engagement