Our Centre provides programming and services to sport enthusiasts at all levels, from recreational athletes to Olympic champions.
Facility InformationThe ownership and operations of GO Sports follows a unique model. The building’s maintenance, utility, security and access are managed by the University of Alberta under the direction of an Operating Committee that consists of representatives from all four partners. The Operations Committee is responsible to a Venture Board. The Venture Board has as its mandate a clear set of principles that the building must operate under called the “Joint Venture Agreement”.
- 12 FIBA-size basketball courts
- Fitness centre
- 25 volleyball courtsindoor track
- Ortona Gymnastics facility
- Fitness studio
- Competition gym with seating for 2800
- Locker rentals; gold and general locker rooms
- 30 badminton courts
- Conference rooms
- 8 indoor tennis courts
- Kevin's Rocks 'n Racquets pro shop
- 10 curling sheets
- Balmoral Lounge - fully licensed
- Outdoor tennis centre (May-September)
- Food and beverage services, and on-site catering
All four partners operating within the facility must work within the operating scope as defined by the Operations Committee. The net operating costs of the building are paid for by the first three partners noted above under a cost-sharing agreement. Each partner contributes a portion of their own not-for-profit/society revenues (as defined in the Venture Partnership Agreement) net of general revenues to cover the overall costs of operating the facility.
This concept, which works out to be the equivalent of each partner paying a fixed rent or lease, allows the partners to have a firm budget to work toward for the next years operations, and at the same time allows the partners the ability to increase the general revenues of the building to reduce their portion of the costs.
While the concept of shareholder ownership of assets is not a new model, the concept of a group of volunteer driven, not-for-profit societies working together as a community establishment in a venture relationship with an internationally renowned university is indeed new and unique. Our partnership has garnered a great deal of attention from other community-based organizations and universities looking for better ways to integrate with their community.
This is a story about vision, cooperation and volunteerism. It is the story of three partnering organizations that came together to create a facility that would honour Edmonton's phenomenal female basketball playing team of yesteryear, the Edmonton Grads, by building one of North America's largest facilities for the sport born in Canada; become a home to Ortona Gymnastics, a club with a long history of gymnastic excellence, whose aging facility needed replacing and Edmonton Volleyball Centre Society whose dream it was to have a magnificent facility in which to play this popular sport.
The intent of this partnership, originally called the GO Centre, and later GO Sports, was to help with funding, organization and to supply a base of volunteers.
Ortona Gymnastics was the first organization to partner with the Edmonton Grads Centre. Ortona Gymnastics' president Ken Flesher and board member Don Logan were already working towards building a new facility.
In 2004, the Alberta Volleyball Association (AVA) was also looking for space and joined the project. The AVA brought together the Edmonton Volleyball Association, the Millwoods Recreational Volleyball Society, the Northern Alberta Volleyball Club and the FOG Volleyball Club to form the Edmonton Volleyball Centre Society (EVCS). The EVCS brought dedicated volunteers and commitment to the project as well.
In 2007, the University of Alberta joined the partnership and contributed the land and infrastructure for the building. With solid support from all three levels of government - $14.8 million from the Government of Canada, $10 million from the Province of Alberta, and $9 million from the City of Edmonton, the project was all but assured - except for a shortfall. Then, with a gift of $2 million from Mr. Bruce Saville, Edmonton businessman and philanthropist, the final fundraising goal was achieved, the project was awarded and Clark Builders began construction in 2010.
On September 17, 2011, the centre was officially opened.The original GO Community Centre board members were (in alphabetical order):
- Jennifer Boso-Hudak, Board treasurer and Ortona Gymnastics representative
- Bob Butlin, Edmonton Grads Basketball Centre representative
- David Dorward, Founder, Director
- Ken Flesher, President, Board of Directors
- Terry Gagnon - Edmonton Volleyball Centre Society representative
- Hugh Hoyles, Chairman, Operations committee
- Mark Hughes, VP and chairman, Construction committee
- Lynn Hyska - Board secretary
- Jan Kostek - Chairman, Partners and participants committee
- Andre Lemieux, Director-at-large
- Rob Lougheed, Chairman, fundraising committee
These individuals collectively contributed over 15,000 hours of volunteer time, valued in kind at over of $3 million.
This facility is a testament to the strong vision, volunteer commitment and cooperation between very different organizations with a common dream. Because of their teamwork this facility became a reality.