Another round of consultation being made by city
By Colten Kamlade, Staff Reporter
The City of New Westminster has begun the second stage of consultation for the proposed Aquatics and Community Centre, and public appears to be on-board.
The new centre was identified as a priority due to the aging of the Canada Games Pool and Centennial Community Centre, which the city decided needed to be replaced. Public engagement began in the summer of 2016, and was followed by a feasibility study in 2017. Now the city is consulting with residents yet again.
According to the Coquitlam City website, 98 per cent of respondents believed that community and aquatic centres are important to the community of New Westminster. It was discovered through information gathered during consultation that swimming lessons, fitness classes, and pickleball are among the top priorities for residents. Some of the amenities would include a leisure aquatics tank, aquatics program tank, an enhanced fitness centre, and a childcare facility.
The proposed centre would be a $100 million, 114,295 sq. ft. facility if created. According to an article from the New West Record, construction would begin in 2020 if the public consultation process is successful.
According to the Community Centre Feasibility Study, one of the benefits of a new Aquatic and Community Centre would be its contribution to the identity of the city.
“The new Aquatic and Community Centre provides the City of New Westminster with the unique opportunity to develop a community asset that will reinforce the community’s cultural identity as an active healthy city by providing an important social and recreation gathering place for all its diverse residents,” the document stated.
Paul Fast, a principal with MCMA Architecture, told the New West Record that the project will have an effect on the age of those who come and utilize the services that the facility offers.
“You have a very loyal, older group of residents that are using the facilities currently, that have been for a very long time, but there’s a gap there in terms of the younger generation that isn’t showing up at your facilities currently in the same numbers that we see in other facilities across the Lower Mainland,” he is reported to have said. “What this study tells us, what this survey told us, is those people will be influenced in terms of coming and participating in this facility.”
Several meetings have taken place over the last few months, and an online survey will be open until April 27 for those who wish to participate. More information on how to get involved is available at the City of New Westminster website.