In 2003, recognizing a long time need for appropriate dressing room facilities for field sports at Lacombe Composite High School and community field sports, Fred Knip (community coach), Kevin Frank (Assistant Principal) and Jayson Lovell (Principal) initiated a plan to construct a Dressing Room Facility. It would take the form of an upscale type of garage package. However, with plans to renovate the Composite High School in the works and limitations on the use of school funds, this plan could not move forward.
In 2006, at the request of the LCHS Parent Council interested parties from Lacombe Composite High School and the community, including Lacombe Minor Football, entered into conversations regarding the prospect of creating a new facility. A not for profit society,
On June 5, 2009, the Lacombe Athletic Park Association (LAPA), was incorporated. The LAPA entered into negotiations with Wolf Creek Public School Division and the Town of Lacombe to secure a long-term lease agreement for a proposed Athletic Facility. Consequently, the Town of Lacombe entered into a 40-year lease agreement with Wolf Creek Public Schools for land on the east side of the high school property.
With the lease in place a project plan was developed to build an athletic facility to include a Field House, Bleachers, Field Lighting and the installation of an all-weather playing field surface. Under the guidance of Fred Knip (Chair of LAPA), Wayne Gustafson (Project Manager) and Darren Gagnon (Marketing and Fundraising) the project became a reality. LAPA entered into a Lease Agreement with the Town of Lacombe to operate and manage the Lacombe Athletic Park.
The First Phase Field House, Lights and Bleachers) was completed in the fall of 2010 at a cost of 1.8 million dollars plus many hours of volunteer work in kind. This phase was made possible by the generosity of many sponsorships and donations. The primary contributors were: MEGlobal, EnCana, Lacombe County, City of Lacombe, Wolf Creek Public School Division, Lacombe Ford, North Side Construction, Phase 3 Electric, Scott Builders, Bruin’s Plumbing and Williams Engineering. The Completion of Phase 1 was highlighted by LAPA hosting the Canadian National Senior Men’s Football Championship Game between Lloydminster and Sault Saint Marie.
In the spring of 2011, LAPA entered into a five-year agreement with the University of Calgary Dinosaurs to host spring development camps and play an annual University Game at MEGlobal Park in August. The 2011 season was culminated with the Lacombe Explosion Peewee football team winning a first ever for Lacombe a Provincial Football Championship.
In 2011, MEGlobal is given naming rights to Lacombe Athletic Park.
The Lacombe Athletic Park Association entered into a lease agreement with the Town of Lacombe to manage and operate the Lacombe Athletic Park. This agreement stipulates the amount of an annual operating grant to paid to the LAPA and Park maintenance (mowing of grass and sweeping of Artificial Turf).
The Field House was constructed by Scott Builders with Ram Alumni Gary Picket as the construction site superintendent. The Bleachers were erected by Rams Football Alumni from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’ and 80’s. The fencing of the park and sidewalks were put by the City.
In November of 2012, ground was broken for Phase 3 of the project which is the installation of an all-weather playing surface at an estimated cost of 1.5 million plus many hours of work in kind by the Lacombe Composite High School and Minor Football Bantam Football Clubs. The Club’s major contribution was the rolling out and stretching the filed turf carpet. The Field Turf was installed by ASTRO TURF out of Vancouver, BC. The field was also designed for a future IAAF track, timing system and field events.
The spring of 2013, would see MEGlobal Park become the home for seven Football Teams (Buccaneers, Rams, Raiders, Explosion, Chargers, Battle River Shock and Prairie Fire), Soccer, High School Athletics and numerous Community functions. Lights turned on for first time in 2013.
The Kiosk was built by volunteers Lucas Wessner and Matthew Gustafson and supervised by Don Gustafson.
In 2017, under the direction of Murray Cunningham LAPA retained Scott Builders to construct an official sized outdoor basketball court with four side hoops at a cost of $180,000.00. The basketball court features a FIBA regulation main court and two cross courts complete with lines and glass backboards. The facility also has lines for Pickle Ball.
The court officially opened on Canada Day 2017 with a 3 on 3 tournament. The construction of the facility was made possible the generosity of the City of Lacombe (Community Builder Partnership Grant), Lacombe County, DBBobat, Lacombe Physiotherapy Clinic, Scott Builders, LAPA and work in kind by the Lacombe Minor Basketball players.
In 2019, MEGlobal committed $2,000,000 for naming rights, upgrading of existing facilities and the installation of a running track. $500,000 of the $2,000,000 has been earmarked for operations at the rate of $25,000 per year over 20 years.
Also in 2019, Lacombe Athletic Park Association received the William Metcalfe Award.
PREFERRED USER GROUPS:
In the process of building the field house and the installation of artificial turf the Board identified groups because of their commitment and contribution to build the park and be ongoing L.A.P.A. members were identified as groups (Lacombe Minor Football, LCHS (High School), and Central Alberta Buccaneers) to be given “Preferred User’s Status”. This status meant that they would be given priority when booking, and a special rental rate based on conditions of use.
BOARD of DIRECTORS:
The Lacombe Athletic Park Association is managed by a Board of Directors consisting of ten elected Directors at large, past Chairperson and three appointed members (City of Lacombe, Lacombe County and Wolf Creed School Board).
2009: Fred Knip (Chairman), Kevin Frank (vice-Chair), Mike Lowry (Secretary/Treasurer), Darren Gagnon (Marketing), Troy Gillard, Wayne Gustafson, Neil Harker,
2010: Fred Knip (Chairman), Kevin Frank (Vice Chair), Mike Lowry (Secretary/Treasurer) Daren (Gagnon Marketing), Neil Harker (Property) Directors: Wayne Gustafson, Troy Gillard, Melody Jones, Jeff Zacharias, Phil Lodermeir, Mike Wood, Jason Petrie, Neil Harker, Don Gustafson
2011: Fred Knip (Chairman), Kevin Frank (Vice-Chair), Wayne Gustafson (Secretary/Treasurer), Darren Gagnon (Marketing) and directors Kyle Liptak, Jason Petrie (High School), Melody Jones, Jayson Lovell (Wolf Creek), Sandi Stewart (City), Phil Lodermeir (County), Mike Lowry, Kyle Liptak, Mike Wood (Minor Football) and Jeff Zacharias (Minor Soccer), Don Gustafson, Executive Director Dee Zunte
2012: Fred Knip (Past Chair), Don Gustafson (Chair), Kevin Frank (Vice Chair), Murray Cunningham (Secretary/ Treasurer), Darren Gagnon (Marketing), Neil Harker (Property), and Directors, Melody Jones, Kyle Liptak, Harlem Hippe, Riley Quance, Mike Wood, Phil Lodermeir, Sandi Stewart, Jason Lovell, Kyle Liptak, Jeff Zacharias, Lorrie Dupuis, Executive Director De Zunte
2013: Don Gustafson (Past Chair), Darren Gagnon (Chair) Gary McDonald (Vice-Chair), Murray Cunningham (Secretary/Treasurer), Matt Panelli (Marketing, Neil Harker (Property), Directors Sandi Stewart, Phil Lodermeir, Sean Lougheed, Riley Quance, Mike Wood, Duane Brown, Melody Jones, Lorrie Dupuis, Executive Director Jamie Figursky
2014: Darren Gagnon (Past Chair), Gary McDonald (Chairman), Murray Cunningham (Secretary Treasurer), Matt Panelli (Marketing), Neil Harker (Property), Directors Sandi Stewart, Phil Lodermeir, Sean Lougheed, Chris Watts, Duane Brown, Gary MacDonald, Matthew Edwards, Tyler Graham, Executive Director Ellen Corea, Jamie Figursky, Riley Quance
2015: Don Gustafson (Past Chair), Shelly Gray (Chair), Murray Cunningham (Vice –Chair), Tyler Graham (Secretary Treasurer, Neil Harker (Property) Matthew Edwards (Marketing), Directors Chantelle Lembicz, Wayne Haarstad, Sandi Stewart, Phil Lodermeir, Sean Lougheed, Riley Quance, Darren Berg, Charles Lasouski, Gary MacDonald, Executive Director Hayma Mackenzie
2016: Shelly Gray (Past Chair), Murray Cunningham (Chair), Darren Berg (Vice-Chair) Tyler Graham (Secretary Treasurer), Charles Lasouski (Marketing), Neil Harker (Property), Gary McDonald (Human Resources) Directors Jason Petrie Jason Petrie, Mike Wilkinson, Andrea Taylor, Phil Lodermeir, Sandi Stewart, Sean Lougheed, Marketing Director Darrin Thompson, Admin. Asst. Don Gustafson
2017: Murray Cunningham (Past Chair), Darren Berg (Chair), Wayne Haarstad (Vice-Chair), Gary McDonald (Secretary /Treasurer, Human Resources) Neil Harker (Property), Charles Lasouski (Marketing), Directors Jason Petri, Mike Wilkinson, Jason, Lunn, Darren Gagnon, Phil Lodermeir, Sean Lougheed, Sandi Stewart, Marketing Director Darrin Thompson, Admin. Asst. Don Gustafson
2018: Darren Berg (Past Chair), Wayne Haarstad vacated chair in April (Chair), Bruce Miller -assumed chair in April (Vice-Chair), Tammy Gagnon (Secretary /Treasurer, Jay Adamson (Human Resources) Darryl Ericson (Property), Tristan Lamarche (Marketing), Directors Darren George, , Jason Lunn, Darren Gagnon, Charles Lasouski, Bill Cade, Sean Lougheed, Sandi Stewart, Marketing Director Darrin Thompson, Admin. Asst. Don Gustafson
2019: Darren Berg (President), Jay Adamson (vice- President), Gary McDonald (Past President), Jason Lunn (Secretary/Treasurer), Tristan Lamarche (Marketing), Directors at Large- Darryl Ericson, Darren George, Darren Gagnon, Charles Lasouski, Mike Wilkinson, Brian Ross, Diane Hayduk, Greg Dellezay. Appointed Directors- Sean Lougheed, Bill Cade, Sandy Stewart. Admin. Assistant Don Gustafson