Minister of Advanced Education Marlin Schmidt spoke at the grand opening of the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre Aug. 22nd. Carlie Connolly/Red Deer Express

Watch: Red Deer College celebrates grand opening of Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre

Doors open to the community for the first time Aug. 23rd

It was a momentous occasion Aug. 22nd as Red Deer College celebrated the grand opening of the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre.

“It was almost exactly three years ago on Aug. 31st 2015 that we shared with you the plans for this game changing facility for the College and for our community of Central Alberta and now after those three years and thousands of hours of work this day has come. The building is complete and we are delighted to celebrate it with you,” said Morris Flewwelling, RDC board chair.

Dignitaries and guests from across Alberta, including Minister of Advanced Education, Marlin Schmidt were there to celebrate the exciting new building.

“I think I see you guys in Red Deer more than I see my own kids,” joked Schmidt “Over the last year I’ve had the honour of being on campus to make some major announcements that will shape this school’s future including our government’s commitment to put Red Deer College on the path to become a university.

“I know that the opening of the Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre will be just as impactful for Red Deer.”

Schmidt added it’s been a weekly highlight to witness the progress being made on the building while driving by on the way to meetings in Southern Alberta and that it’s great to see it completed.

“This centre is a true game changer for Red Deer College. It will not only support world class teaching and learning opportunities and athletic and recreational activities, it will also be a hub of resources and activities for all Red Deer’s residents and Central Alberta.”

The Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre, Red Deer College’s newest state-of-the-art teaching and learning facility, will also be a pivotal part of the upcoming 2019 Canada Winter Games.

From Feb. 15th until March 3rd, 2019, five events will take place at the Centre, including short track speed skating, badminton, wheelchair basketball, figure skating and squash. The Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre has also been named the legacy building for the 2019 Canada Winter Games, and will continue to provide health, wellness and sport opportunities to community members for decades after the Games.

“This building will have a tremendous impact on our region, and community members will benefit directly and indirectly from the facility, which further positions Red Deer College and Red Deer as a destination for a wide range of activities and opportunities,” said Flewwelling.

Red Deer College President and CEO Joel Ward added, “The Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre is an extraordinary addition to our College and our community. This building is a symbol of RDC’s future – for our students, faculty, staff, community members and partners. And today we take a huge step forward on this future path as we celebrate this grand opening and continue to transition to a recognized university.”

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