What is the REC-CREATE project all about?
The Strathcona Gardens Recreation Complex is a well-loved and well-used recreational facility that contributes to the health and well-being of residents within the City of Campbell River, Electoral Area D and surrounding areas. It provides countless personal, social, and economic benefits to the public, and is integral to building strong communities. Key components of Strathcona Gardens were constructed in the 1970’s. Through studies and feedback from the public, we know that the facility is aging and is in need of renewal. More needs to be done to maintain and enhance this valued public asset.
The Strathcona Regional District (SRD) owns and operates Strathcona Gardens. The REC-REATE Strathcona Gardens revitalization project was created in planning for the future of the facility. The goal of REC-REATE is to renew the facility to address aging components and to meet the diverse and changing recreational needs of the community now and in the future.
Why is this happening now?
REC-REATE grew out of recommendations from a 2015 needs assessment study. The public was asked to inform the SRD how they are doing and share ideas on how to better meet recreational needs and expectations. Through surveys and open houses with Electoral Area D and City of Campbell River residents, SRD staff heard the existing facility is aging and more can be done to meet the needs of users. A number of potential actions were identified, including operational enhancements, business planning, and redevelopment of the building. High level concept plans and cost estimates were prepared.
The Strathcona Gardens Commission, the governing body responsible for making decisions relating to the administration and operation of the Strathcona Gardens recreation complex, supported further investigations and the establishment of a reserve fund for future works.
What does Phase 1 of the revitalization concept include?
This concept includes a number of improvements and additions to the facility including:
A new aquatic centre:
- 8 lane, 25m main pool tank
- large accessible therapy pool
- hot pool
- leisure pool with play features and beach access style entry
- lazy river & waterslide
- renovated & expanded change rooms
- new sauna and steam rooms
- new aquatic supervision and admin spaces
Fitness & wellness areas:
- creation of a new wellness area which will allow space for physiotherapy and rehabilitative services
- moving the fitness centre adjacent to the wellness centre on the first floor
- expanding aquatic, wellness and fitness programming, including dry multi-purpose program room on upper level
- improved accessibility to the facility
- enlarged universal fitness change rooms
- additional multi-purpose rooms (four new & three renovated) including a wet room for birthday parties and training as well as better storage areas to accommodate additional programming
New storage and public space:
- renovated open-concept lobby which will include a new reception area and social spaces
- new centrally located and visible concession
- relocate administration offices closer to program/functional areas
- additional storage space available for facility users
Improvements and upgrades to the ice facilities is not included in Phase 1 however the SRD will continue to advocate and pursue future funding opportunities as they arise.
The initial schematic design that was created in 2018 included the following improvements and upgrades to the ice facilities:
- arena #1 rebuilding: create a new long-span structure over the existing ice slab
- build new team rooms for arena #1 and renovate change rooms for arena #2
- new ancillary rooms, i.e. first aid, referee rooms
- add new seating and increase/expand the seating count with the possibility of creating bucket seats and a more optimal seating arrangement
- indoor 220m walking track (arena 1)
- redesign the entryway for arena #1 to act as a combined multi-purpose space and lobby extension
What has happened so far? What comes next?
- The Facility Needs Assessment – completed in 2015
- The Project Planning Phase – 2017
- The Schematic Design Phase – 2018
- Initial Funding Grant Application Submitted – Jan 2019
- Initial Funding Grant Application Denied – May 2020
- Announcement of Second Funding Grant Opportunity – June 2020
- Second Funding Grant Application will be Submitted by – October 2020
- The Detailed Design Phase – Summer 2021
- Tender completion – Fall 2021
- The Project Delivery Phase (Funding/Construction) – Fall 2021, subject to funding
The project is currently in Phase 4 – The Detailed Design Phase.
What grant opportunities is the SRD Looking into?
In January 2019, The SRD made an application to the Canada-British Columbia Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program – Community, Culture and Recreation Stream in an effort to offset costs. This application was not successful, though a second intake has been announced by the program with a deadline for submission on October 1, 2020.
Based on feedback from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing on the results of the first round of funding approvals, the SRD is revising the second funding application. Revisions include a scaled-down ask that focuses on Phase 1 of the project’s new aquatic space, revitalization of the central area and weight room/rehabilitation space only (no arenas) and inclusion of detailed designs of the schematic drawings that were included in the first application that excludes the arenas.
This is a rare opportunity to obtain external funding for recreation infrastructure and should the grant application be successful, construction could begin in fall 2021.
When will the ice arenas be revitalized?
Improvements and upgrades to the ice facilities will not be included in the second grant application (October 2020) however the SRD will continue to advocate and pursue future funding opportunities as they arise.
What happens if this second grant application is not approved?
If the second application is not successful, the Board will need to reconsider how to proceed with the required upgrades.
How much will Phase 1 cost?
The cost to complete detailed design and construction will be determined once procurement to select a prime consultant and subconsultants is completed.
What did the proposed Arena look like?