The day lodge at WinSport is getting its first major upgrade since 1987.
On Monday, the federal government announced it is committing more than $17.4 million to retrofit and renovate the facility and make it a more inclusive and energy-efficient space.
In total, renovations are expected to cost $39-43 million to complete. The federal funding will come from Ottawa's Green and Inclusive buildings program. WinSport will look to other levels of government and sponsors for the rest of the funding.
According to WinSport CEO Barry Heck, the changes will make the day lodge more user friendly.
"We're going to eliminate a lot of stairs, which is going to help us improve access to the snow and the other facilities. The rental shop, food court will all be expanded, improving flow and accessibility," he said.
"The deck space is going to be much larger."
Most importantly, Heck says, energy efficiency will be improved — making it a net-zero building. He is looking to other levels of government and sponsors for the rest of the funding.
Calgary Skyview MP George Chahal says he learned to skate at Canada Olympic Park, which WinSport operates, but the facility is in need of a fix.
"This is a world class facility that needs repair," he said.
Chahal said the 35-year-old WinSport day lodge needs to be more accessible and energy efficient.
The day lodge has not undergone a major renovation since it was opened in 1987.
It houses guest services, retail, rentals, patrol, food and beverage outlets, WinSport offices and a trampoline training room. It is also home to one of Canada's largest snow schools, along with several ski and snowboard clubs, including CADS Calgary, which is a member of the Canadian Adaptive Snowsports Association.
Construction is expected to begin as early as next spring or summer, following the ski and snowboard season, and will take an estimated 18 months to complete.