Saville exterior


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 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 fund, organize, and 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.