Synergy Credit Union CEO Glenn Stang runs into the new Synergy Vault for the grand opening on Friday. Synergy is the major sponsor of what is the new Home of the Raiders at Holy Rosary High School. GEOFF LEE LLS PHOTO
When the Synergy Vault officially opened, it was loaded with dignitaries and students from the Lloydminster Catholic School Division (LCSD).
They were there Friday to celebrate the grand opening of the 23,000 sq. ft. facility as a successful community partnership.
The Synergy Vault is dubbed the Home of the Raiders football team at Holy Rosary High School, but the indoor field will be shared by at least four minor sports partners.
“It takes a community to work together to realize great results,” said Saskatchewan Deputy Minister of Education, Rob Currie.
“I know this facility is the product of a strong partnership between the school division and the community, the City of Lloydminster, Synergy Credit Union, Meridian Soccer, Lloydminster Minor Ball Association, Lloydminster Minor Football Association and Lloydminster Amateur Softball Association.”
Synergy Credit Union, the main sponsor, purchased the naming rights in a 15-year agreement involving a $375,000 contribution to construction and operating costs.
“We got a sneak preview of the facility the other day and wow— amazing, beyond what we saw on any drawings or renderings,” said Don Wheler, president of Synergy’s board, who threw the opening pitch.
There was also an opening football kick and soccer kickoff to represent the partner sports.
“This is going to add a huge piece to the growth and development of our young people,” said Wheler.
Wheler went on to say it’s going to be the pride of Alberta and Saskatchewan in the Border City.
“We’ve already got the minister of education from two provinces saying ‘how did you do that’? Well partnerships; that’s how we do everything,” said Wheler.
“Everything we’ve done is not for our kids; it’s for the community and the communities around us—that’s where we live and where we play, and we’re here to support our members in all parts of their lives.”
Vince Orieux, principal at Holy Rosary, called the opening an exciting day after waiting more than a year for the facility to open.
“It’s like a proud papa moment –very proud of this facility and the support we received from our partners, from the school division and Synergy Credit Union,” he said.
“We’ve got four partners that we are working with right now, soccer, minor baseball, softball and minor football.”
Orieux said teams started using the Synergy Vault a couple of weeks ago and are loving the spongy artificial turf, including 55 yard markers for football.
“It’s an artificial turf so they really get really good bounces for baseball and it’s a cushioned surface so if kids are tackling in football, it’s got a good cushion surface for that too,” he said.
Raiders’ defensive tackle, Bryce Zerr who conducted the school band in the singing of O’Canada, provided his endorsement to the turf.
“It’s decently soft, you might get a little bit of turf burn, but it’s fairly nice to get tackled on,” he said.
“We’ve done about eight to 10 practices on it—as the winter comes and it gets colder, it will be nice to practice in here.”
Gracen White, a Grade 9 student who plays for the Lloydminster Liners softball team, gave her thumbs up to practicing indoors at the Synergy Vault.
“It’s awesome, it’s almost like being on the real field and just the environment where we’re in with the girls and the teachers, it’s fantastic,” she said.
“It’s the best way I think of to improve.”
Among the guests on hand was Todd Robinson, director of Education at the Lloydminster Public School Division and a cheerleader of the Synergy Vault.
“It will be a wonderful facility for our community and great facility for Holy Rosary and LCSD,” he said, adding he hopes there will be opportunities for his own students to get involved.
Lloydminster Saskatchewan MLA, Colleen Young offered her impressions of the Synergy Vault after stepping inside for the first time.
“Awesome, what a great addition to our community and for our students and our school systems,” she said.
Young was one of many local politicians and speakers including Vermilion-Lloydminster MLA Dr. Richard Starke, and Lloydminster Mayor Gerald Aalbers, who were escorted by LCSD school mascots.