Cooper-Key Recreation Centre Officially Opens

Thanks to the hard work of Impact Construction and the generosity of the Cooper-Key Foundation, the Cooper-Key Recreation Centre at Hull Services main campus is operational. The kids at Hull benefit from sports and recreation in many ways, learning skills that will bring enjoyment and health benefits throughout their lives. Recreation programs are a part of therapy, and as important, are a part of simply being kids.

The Recreation Centre is the main staging area for outdoor recreation like biking, camping, and cross-country skiing. The new Centre has work areas for staff to store and maintain equipment. A bicycle maintenance workspace makes reconditioning bicycles onsite possible. The new Centre also has a kitchen and areas where kids can gather and hang out.

The need for the new facility became evident during a 2011 assessment of all of the facilities on Hull Campus. That year representatives of the Cooper-Key family explored opportunities for making a contribution to Hull Services. Gerald Cooper-Key entrusted his family to select a worthy charity for a major contribution. The background of the family members includes professional business analysis and social work, providing them with the skillset to thoroughly scrutinize the work, administration and impact of the charities they examined.

The Cooper-Key family has a long history with Hull. Gerald Cooper-Key recently retired as an investment manager with Mawer Investment Management Ltd., which has been managing some of Hull’s endowment funds for many years. Sarah Cooper-Key worked at the Agency part-time while undertaking studies in social work at the University of Calgary.

Hull was selected to receive the funds based on the criteria the family had established. The Recreation Centre was identified as a fit with what the family wished to accomplish. The Cooper-Key Foundation made a contribution of $100,000 towards the new recreation centre later that year.

Part of what the Cooper-Key family hoped to accomplish with their donation was the attraction of other funds to the project. The Government of Alberta matched the donation, and donations from the Burns Foundation and the Kinsmen, through the Community Facility Enhancement Program. Construction proved to be a challenge as the flood of 2013 delayed permits and stretched the capacity of the construction trades. Fortunately, Impact Construction was able to meet these challenges and succeeded in constructing a fine facility, as well as making a substantial financial contribution to the project.

The recreation program at Hull benefits all of the kids in some way, providing an active lifestyle and encouraging better health and social opportunities. The Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics (NMT) that Hull has adopted includes physical activity as a key part of trauma recovery. Hundreds of children from the community— through Hull’s Patch Programs—benefit from Hull Recreation, in addition to the kids at Hull School and the kids in Hull’s residential programs. The Cooper-Key Recreation Centre will be the hub of these programs, providing a starting point for outdoor recreation and a facility for indoor activities, for many years to come.