The future of the Strathcona Gardens REC-REATE project was a topic of discussion during the August 16th, 2023 Regional Board meeting. Following approval from the Inspector of Municipalities, the Strathcona Regional District (SRD) Board has been given the green light to initiate an Alternative Approval Process (AAP) for Bylaw No. 342. This bylaw enables borrowing funds of up to $64,670,000 to support the redevelopment of the Strathcona Gardens recreation complex.
The borrowed funds will be allocated for phase 1 and phase 2 of the REC-REATE project. Phase 1 will include a new aquatic centre with an 8-lane 25 m pool, accessible therapy pool, hot pool, and leisure pool with a lazy river, climbing wall and waterslide. A new fitness and wellness centre with sauna and steam rooms will also be included in this phase along with renovated change rooms and administrative areas. Phase 2, the Rod Brind’Amour arena major renovation will include increased seating to meet Junior A requirements, a walking track, new team and referee rooms and more.
An Alternative Approval Process (AAP) is used to gauge support and obtain legislative approval from electors for the initiative and borrowing proposal. An AAP is favoured due to its cost-effectiveness compared to traditional voting referendums. For the borrowing initiative to be approved, it requires that less than 10% of Campbell River and Area D residents (32,880 people) submit an objection through an elector response form.
If responses from less than 10% of the electors are received by the Regional District before the deadline of Wednesday, October 4, 2023, the Board can move forward with adopting Bylaw No. 342. Alternatively, if 10% or more of the total electors submit an elector response form reflecting their opposition to the bylaw, the Board’s ability to adopt Bylaw No. 342 would require a referendum vote. In that case, the bylaw can only be adopted if a majority of electors participating in the referendum vote in favour of it.
“The initial phase of REC-REATE, which involves the construction of the new aquatic center and wellness center, is all set to go. Once we secure the necessary funding, phase 1 construction could kick off as early as Spring 2024. If all goes well, the Rod Brind’Amour phase 2 renovation could start as early as Fall 2024,” said SRD Chair Mark Baker.
“Given that the current facility is stretched beyond its limits, this expansion promises better amenities and a broader range of programming for the region. The debt payment for Bylaw 342 was carefully factored into the 2023-2027 Financial Plan and has already gained approval from the board,” said SRD CAO David Leitch.
The next steps for the Regional Board will be to advertise its intent in the next week and provide information on the nature of the project, the amount of money required to be borrowed, and the financial impact on the residents should the approval process be successful. This information along with the elector response forms will be available next week at www.srd.ca/strathcona-gardens-aap.
For more information about the redevelopment of Strathcona Gardens recreation complex and to view detailed designs, please visit www.RecreateSG.ca.
Media Contact – Tom Yates – SRD Corporate Services, Senior Manager 250-830-6704 | firstname.lastname@example.org