*** FAQS ARE UPDATED OFTEN when questions are received. ***
*** If you have further questions, please contact email@example.com.***
ALTERNATIVE APPROVAL PROCESS QUESTIONS
1 –What is an Alternative Approval Process (AAP)?
An Alternative Approval Process (AAP) is used to measure the level of support and provide legislative approval from the residents for the initiative and subsequent borrowing being proposed.
The Regional Board will typically advertise its intent and high-level 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. The borrowing initiative is deemed approved by the community, if less than 10% of electors submit a petition objecting to the borrowing.
If the AAP is passed, the Regional District will have the authority to borrow up to ~$64 million. That is the maximum amount that can be borrowed, not necessarily the amount that will be borrowed. If project costs are lower or the Regional District receives grants, we may not need to borrow the full amount. More information about Strathcona Gardens Alternative Approval Process & forms can be found at www.srd.ca/strathcona-gardens-aap.
2- Why is the Strathcona Regional District (SRD) choosing an Alternative Approval Process?
- The Regional District is required by the Local Government Act to obtain the approval of the electors using an Alternative Approval Process or referendum vote.
- The cost of an AAP is significantly less than seeking approval via voting at a referendum and is often preferred for that reason. If the AAP process isn’t successful (10% of electors submit written objection forms), the Regional Board then determines whether the proposal should be taken to a vote of the electors.
- The AAP is somewhat quicker, and time is a factor in this case for making a decision.
- An AAP is truly an opinion poll in that the Board may either proceed to adoption if there is little opposition, or proceed with assent voting if ratepayer support is questionable.
3- How can I submit my response if I’m opposed to Bylaw No. 342?
Electors who are opposed to the Regional Board adopting Bylaw No. 342 without first obtaining assent of the electors by voting may submit a completed copy of the approved response form (available here) in person or by mail to the Regional District corporate office at 990 Cedar Street in Campbell River not later than noon on October 4, 2023.
The Regional District can only accept originally signed forms. Completed forms submitted by email or by fax machine cannot be accepted.
Following the deadline, each response form will be reviewed by the Corporate Officer to confirm its authenticity and to verify the elector status of the person submitting the form. A report outlining the results of the alternative approval process will then be submitted for consideration by the Regional Board.
4 – Since the AAP only counts electors against the project, is there anything I can do to help show my support?
Persons who support the redevelopment of the Strathcona Gardens need not participate in the AAP since, by not submitting a response form, they are assumed to be in favour of the redevelopment initiative”
If you hear friends or family expressing concerns about the AAP process or the project, encourage them to check out the project’s website FAQs at www.recreatesg.ca/faqs or email your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. You can show support for the project by sharing your positive thoughts with others and what it would mean to you, your family, and the community to see a completely modernized and renovated recreation facility.
5 – When will we know the results of the Alternative Approval Process?
Public notice has been given that the Board of Directors for the Strathcona Regional District may proceed with final passage and adoption of Bylaw No. 342, being Strathcona Gardens Recreation Facility Loan Authorization Bylaw 2018, at its meeting of Wednesday, October 11, 2023 unless at least 10% of the eligible electors within the City of Campbell River and Electoral Area D (Oyster Bay-Buttle Lake) submit elector response forms not later than 12:00 noon on October 4, 2023.
The results of the AAP are scheduled to be publicized by inclusion on the October 11, 2023 Regional Board meeting agenda.
REC-REATE PROJECT & DESIGN QUESTIONS
6 – What is this 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 which are nearing end of life and to meet the diverse and changing recreational needs of the community now and in the future.
7 – Why is this happening now?
REC-REATE grew out of recommendations from a 2015 needs assessment study and 2016 condition assessment.
The condition assessment told us that the facility is aging and needs renewal. The condition of the pool was of particular concern – the pool is at risk of failing at any time. Without a plan in place to build a new pool, the aquatic center could be shut down. Leaving the community with no indoor pool and preventing access to some of the critical programming it offers.
During the needs assessment, 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 at it’s capacity 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.
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.
8 – What has happened so far? What come’s next?
- Needs Assessment and Condition Assessment Reports – Completed in 2015 and 2016
- Planning (Feasibility study) – Completed in 2018
- Grant Applications – 2019 and 2020 (unsuccessful)
- Procurement – Detailed Design (RFP) – Completed in March 2021
- Detailed Design – Started Spring 2021 and was completed in the Summer of 2022
- UBCM – Canada Community Building Fund Grant application – unsuccessful results obtained in early 2023
- Green and Inclusive Community Buildings Program grant application to support the construction of phase one- Submitted February 2023. Expected results Fall 2023.
- Detailed Design begins of Phase 2 – The Rod Brind’Amour Arena Renovation – Summer 2023
- Tender (ITT) – Subject to borrowing approval.
- Construction – Subject to borrowing approval.
9 – What is included in phase 1 of the project?
Deciding what would be included in phase one was an iterative process, considering many different options. It included community feedback and approvals from the Strathcona Gardens Commission and the Regional Board of Directors. What resulted is a balance between the community’s needs vs. wants, the budget, space and the need to keep the existing pool open during construction.
Aquatics – see design & learn more at www.recreatesg.ca/aquatics
- 8-lane 25m lap pool
- 1m springboard
- Climbing wall
- Leisure Pool
- Beach entry
- Tot splash zone with spray features
- Lazy River
- Wellness pool
- Hot pool
- Universal and gendered changerooms
- Lifeguard room and first aid station
- Aquatic patio
- Outdoor social heart
- Improved drop off area
- New landscaping
- 3 multipurpose rooms
Wellness Centre – see design & learn more at www.recreatesg.ca/wellness-areas
- Wellness reception and waiting area
- 5 new treatment rooms
- 5 new assessment rooms
- Large fitness rooms in renovated existing natatorium
Admin + Gathering
- New administrative offices
- New reception area with office
- Renovated lobby & gathering area
- Purpose-built ice melt pit
With the exception of the ice melting pit, improvements and upgrades to the ice facilities identified in the feasibility study are not included in Phase 1.
10 – When was the Rod Brind’Amour arena added to the project?
In January 2023, three options for moving the REC-REATE project forward were presented to the Strathcona Gardens Commission.
- Replace the existing pool – like for like.
- Build the newly designed Aquatic Center and renovated Wellness spaces.
- Build the new Aquatic Center, renovated Wellness spaces and add the Rod Brind’Amour arena to the project.
The Commission selected Option 3 with the financial costs being supported in the 2023-2027 Financial Plan.
The Rod Brind’Amour arena’s renovation design will focus on enhancing the arena’s functionality and user experience. include expanding spectator seating and upgrading team rooms, creating the potential to attract a Junior A hockey team to our region and host a more diverse range of events.
Additionally, we plan to introduce a second-level walking loop, providing more opportunities for rehabilitation and fitness activities within the facility. Moreover, we’re enhancing way-finding and connectivity throughout the arena, ensuring a smoother and more enjoyable experience for all visitors.
The design team has been selected, and we anticipate having detailed design drawings in Spring 2024.
11 – How much is the project going to cost to build?
The anticipated cost to build Phase One, the new Aquatic Center and wellness spaces renovation, is $53 Million.
The detailed design for the renovation and upgrades to the Rod Brind‘Amour Arena is just beginning. The 2019 schematic design details provided an estimated cost of $20 million. The arena estimates will need to be further validated once the detailed design is complete.
12 – How much is the project going to cost the average household?
Like a mortgage, the loan duration and interest rate are determined when funds are secured. The exact cost per average household will depend on the amount borrowed and the interest rate offered at the time of borrowing.
The exact cost per average household will depend on several factors including the outcome of any Federal/Provincial grant applications, the timing of each loan installment, and the interest rate in effect when the installments are incurred or when the debt is refinanced every 10 years.
If the full $64,670,000 is borrowed on day 1 of the project and no grants we’re obtained, based on the 4.5% interest rate as of Sept 8th, the cost to the average residential household would be approximately $17 per month based on the 2022 Assessment Data. As households already contribute the equivalent of $9 a month to the REC-REATE fund through taxes, the additional cost to the average household to service the debt would be around $8 a month.
The additional average cost for a business in Campbell River or Area D will differ, but are impacted by the same factors as the residential rate. Businesses will pay approximately 45% above the average residential rate.
13 – How is the project being funded?
The Project is being funded through a combination of user fees, reserve funds allocated for this purpose and borrowing. We anticipate that grant funding may offset some of these borrowing costs and limit the need for requisition. The SRD is currently waiting for an announcement from the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings Fund Program to see if our grant application for $13.5 million submitted in February 2023 was successful. Throughout the project, the SRD will continue to apply for eligible grant funding as programs open up.
Authority to borrow any funding for local government is contingent on the regional district obtaining elector approval from City of Campbell River and Electoral Area D electors. The Regional Board of Directors voted to determine Electoral support through an AAP process. Learn more about the AAP process at www.srd.ca/strathcona-gardens-aap.
14 – When will construction start, and how long will it take?
If the AAP is successful construction of the new Aquatic Center could start in early 2024. The existing pools will remain operational while the new pools are being built. Once construction of the first stage is completed, the existing pools will be demolished, and the new wellness spaces will be built in their place.
The timing of construction of the arena is still to be determined. Impacts on the user groups and other interested parties will be heavily considered regarding the timing of construction. The duration to complete the Arena renovation is also unknown, but there will be programming impacts considering the anticipated scope of the renovation. Details will be shared with all interested parties as soon as they become available.
Phase one is expected to take two years to complete. The timing to begin construction of Phase Two is currently unknown. The whole project will take approximately 3 years to complete if the arena renovation is able to begin while the second stage of Phase One is still underway.
15 – How is parking incorporated into the new project design?
For the majority of the operating year, parking spaces will be plentiful and exceed BC Building Code requirements for the Strathcona Gardens facility capacity. During special events, SRD will work its neighbours to try to secure additional off-street parking. Additional covered bike parking spaces including charge points for e-bikes will support those who choose to commute to the centre by bike instead of car.
Parking impacts related to the Arena Renovation will be evaluated as part of the Phase two design.
16 – What do the detailed designs look like?
Click HERE to see images of the detailed design plans developed by HCMA Architecture + Design.