Sexsmith Wellness weighs location options for users to enjoy programming

·2 min read

The Sexsmith Wellness Coalition is seeking space for its programming in early 2021, with council granting the coalition up to $7,000 to rent a facility.

The space is needed for January to April and council granted the amount during its regular meeting last week.

“Due to COVID, we can’t access the buildings we would normally be renting,” said Melody Sample, Sexsmith wellness co-ordinator.

“We are on the hunt for a larger space to run our programs out of.”

According to Sexsmith administration, at council’s Nov. 2 meeting council granted the coalition $6,800 to rent the former hardware store on 100th Ave.

The plan to use that location fell through when the space was rented out to another party, according to administration.

At last week’s meeting Coun. Clint Froehlick’s motion to add up to $7,000 to the coalition’s budget for a rental was carried unopposed. The previous $6,800 was rescinded.

Sample is based in the town office but programming takes place in a variety of locations, including school gyms which are now closed to the public, she said.

The coalition used the Peace River Bible Institute gym for pre-kindergarten playtime, St. Mary’s School for family gym nights and Robert W. Zahara School’s gym for pickleball, she said.

The civic centre and community centre are also occasional venues, but some of the rooms aren’t set up for events like pickleball, Sample added.

The coalition currently uses the civic centre for its few programs still operating, namely the seniors community kitchen and upcoming food and nutrition workshops, she said.

Provincial restrictions and exercise classes wouldn’t prevent pickleball from restarting with sufficient space, she said.

She said larger space in the civic centre is rented out, with the Sexsmith Tumbling Club having a home there.

To observe physical distancing requirements the coalition needs space as large as a typical school gym, she said.

Sample said the coalition is eyeing a few potential locations in town but couldn’t comment on which ones.

A challenge is spaces available for rent are limited, with some already being rented and others not large enough, she said.

After April, Sample said she envisions more outdoor programming.

She also plans for some outdoor programming like a snowshoe group in December and January, she said.

At this point, Sample said the coalition isn’t looking for permanent new space, although it’s possible a location secured for 2021 could become a regular venue.

“We’re keeping in mind long-term solutions,” she said.

Brad Quarin, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News