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Horse Creek Sports Park receives green light

A new multi-use sport and recreational facility in Cochrane is in the works, with construction set to begin in 2021.

The Town of Cochrane and Rocky View Schools (RVS) are undertaking the development project, called the Horse Creek Sports Park. A master site plan for the 158-acre park was released June 25. 

“As Cochrane has been growing, all of our sports groups – whether that be soccer, rugby, baseball – have grown, too,” said Cochrane Mayor Jeff Genung. “They’re in need of more outdoor facilities.”

The park will be located on the northern edge of Cochrane, adjacent to Horse Creek Road. Once complete, the facility will boast a quad of baseball diamonds, two outdoor hockey rinks and three multi-sport fields capable of hosting soccer, football, rugby or field-hockey games.

Other amenities would include playgrounds, a central clubhouse, bike facilities – including a pump track and skills park – and an extensive pathway and trail network.

RVS purchased the quarter section of land in 2015 for $3.45 million as the site of a future high school, according to RVS Associate Superintendent of Business and Operations Larry Paul. Since only 30 acres will be needed for the school – which Genung said should be constructed in the next eight to 12 years – the remaining 128 acres will be developed into the sport park.

In addition to the recreational amenities, 11 acres will be dedicated for a Town of Cochrane maintenance site and a transit facility.

According to Genung, construction of the athletic amenities is still at least two summers away. The next step, he said, is to annex the land from Rocky View County (RVC) and purchase the 128-acre portion from RVS.

The Town submitted the application for an annexation agreement to the County in November 2018, Genung said, and a decision is expected early this month.

“Those steps take time, so we’ll miss this construction season,” he said. “But next year, we’ll be servicing and grading [the land], and 2021 would be the first construction season that [portions of the facility] would be open for any user groups.”

The various amenities will be phased in gradually, he added.

Eventually, Genung said, he expects Horse Creek Sports Park to become another hub for the area’s sporting community, similar to the Spray Lake Sawmills Family Sports Centre in southern Cochrane.

“It really is a great way of bringing the community together,” he said. “Often, I think communities struggle to provide land for these types of activities. And when they do get them, it’s piecemeal – you get a chunk here, a chunk there, and you do with it what you can.

“I think this is a great opportunity to have a lot of activities that are diverse, in one place.”

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