Multipurpose Evacuation Centre Updates

Updated Facility Design

Below are final drawings of the Multipurpose Evacuation Centre design. 

Click the image to enlarge

Multi-use Facility Main Floor plan - FINAL Opens in new windowMulti-use Facility Second Floor plan - FINAL Opens in new window

Multi-use Facility Second Floor plan - FINAL Opens in new windowHLMUF_Gymnasium_Highres Opens in new windowHLMUF_SecondFloor Opens in new window

Multi-use Facility Main Floor plan - FINAL Opens in new windowHLMUF_Gymnasium_Highres Opens in new windowHLMUF_LobbyHighres Opens in new window

Multipurpose Evacuation Centre Timeline  

June 2021

The Design Development Phase is now complete. At the June 14th Regular Meeting, Council accepted the Multipurpose Evacuation Centre design as presented with a budget not to exceed $88,000,000. The Town is seeking local fundraising and borrowing of $16,000,000 as well as combined Federal and Provincial Grants of $72,000,000.

A Consultation with stakeholders will be held June 24, 2021.

 SAHURI + Partners Architecture has been contracted to provide construction documents and tender documents. Pending funding, the Multipurpose Evacuation Centre  Project will be shovel ready for spring of 2022.  

Site Plan 

The Geotechnical, Environmental, and Topographical assessments are complete and the designated land has been subdivided for the Multipurpose Evacuation Centre. The building will be classified as a separate stand-alone construction, with a connection to the school via an enclosed walkway only. Site development is planned to occur over several phases, which includes plans to extend 100 Street south of 105 Avenue towards the existing bus parking loop on the School Board Property, and the creation of additional parking lots in the areas west and south of the proposed Multipurpose Evacuation Centre.

Design Details 

Materials used for both the internal and external sections of the facility were chosen to create an open and welcoming atmosphere within the building while also meeting energy saving goals. The exterior walls will be constructed with an insulated metal panel. Where possible, interior walls will consist of a Glass Curtain Fibreglass Wall, which will keep the corridors open and inviting while also avoiding large lengths of blank walls. Public corridors and the gymnasium will have clerestory glazing, which will allow an abundance of natural light into the facility.

Aquatic Centre

The indoor pool includes three separate pool tanks; a 25m lap pool, a leisure pool with lazy river, and an oversized spa that can double as a physiotherapy area. Each tank is provided with a barrier-free access ramp. Other rooms associated with the pool are a birthday party room and playhouse, either of which could be rented in conjunction with or independent of the pool. The playhouse is a two-story structure which will include several different activities appropriate for kids of various ages.

An area of spectator seating is located above, accessed from the second floor the “balcony” seating provides excellent views of the lap pool and may be used during competitive swim meets, or as a separate place for parents to wait during swim lessons.


The gymnasium is sized to accommodate three regulation sized basketball courts, with enough space between each court for mobile bleachers systems to be installed for special events. The running track is located above, pulled back from the edge to allow space for additional tilt-and-roll type bleachers to be installed. Alternatively, the area can be used for stretching and other fitness activities. The roof over this space is raised to allow for clerestory glazing at roof level. This glazing will provide an abundance of natural light to the gym during the day.


The Multipurpose Evacuation Centre includes a regulation-sized arena. In addition to greater energy and operational efficiencies, the updated and modern design will enable the community to host more events and attract a Junior A/B hockey team. Most of the spectator seating is located at the second floor. This “balcony” seating provides excellent views of the ice surface. Raising the bleachers to the second floor allows for a fully glazed wall between the rink and the main public corridor. The space under these bleachers can be used for informal standing-room viewing or could be provided with benches and used as skate changing areas for public open skate events.

View a copy of the Multipurpose Evacuation Centre brochure here.

January 2021

The next steps are a geotechnical and land survey and environmental study of the proposed facility location. Ground stakes have been placed near the high school for surveying purposes. From January 5 – 9, Town of High Level residents will notice machines clearing snow and other heavy equipment working in and around the High School track area.

December 2020 

During the Special Council meeting on December 14 Council provided the approval to move forward to an engineered design. The Multipurpose Evacuation Centre is now 22,000 sq. meters, and the budgeted cost of the facility is $88 million. Council and administration continue to meet with provincial and federal ministers regarding funding for the facility.

November 2020

Sahuri presented updated architectural plans to members of the Fort Vermilion School Division, Town of High Level Council, and the Dene Tha' First Nations. On November 24, stakeholder meetings were held for an entire day, with 3-4 people in at a time to allow free communication and feedback on the design with the Architect.

October 2020

The Town individually hired a cost consultant/surveyor to review project costs. Additionally, a sponsorship contract was awarded to develop sponsorship, donation, and naming strategies for facility fundraising.

August – October 2020

The design was reviewed and expanded into more detail. A Multipurpose Evacuation Centre Taskforce consisting of representatives from the Fort Vermillion School Division, the Town of High Level, and the Dene Tha’ First Nation was developed. The Taskforce met bi-weekly to discuss design changes and program functions of the facility. The task force considered feedback from the public survey completed in June and input from additional stakeholder meetings.

The main changes to the facility design include: 

  • The corridors were expanded and reconfigured to allow for a better flow of patrons and viewing of activities.
  • The library was expanded to include a mezzanine area on the second floor.
  • The curling rink morphed from a 3-lane rink to a 4-lane rink to be housed in a full-size ice pad. This provides the capacity to expand to a regular size hockey rink if curling season is shortened or does not continue to be played. The surface will also serve as a back up if the Town engages in both Junior A and Junior B hockey in the far future.
  • A lazy river and low depth leisure pool was added to the aquatic centre.

August 2020

After an extensive tendering process, Sahuri and partners Architecture Inc was selected as the Prime Architectural consultant.  

March  2020

Following the stakeholders meeting, administration contacted ONPA Architect for a preliminary design. This design was approximately 18,000 sq. meters with a construction cost of $61 million. This preliminary design was presented to Council and then released in May to the public for feedback through the Town website and Social Media.