REC-REATE grew out of recommendations from a 2015 needs assessment study. As part of this study, the SRD asked for public feedback on whether the facility is meeting the community’s recreational needs. A number of potential actions for the facility were identified, including operational enhancements, business planning, and redevelopment of the building. The SRD project team has worked with consulting architects, engineers, recreation specialists and the community to develop a new concept design that would address gaps in service provision and aging infrastructure in need of upgrading.
In 2020, the SRD submitted a second grant application request with the Canada-British Columbia Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, to offset costs for the REC-REATE project, the redevelopment of Strathcona Gardens.
The REC-REATE project was not selected for the first round of funding in 2019 where a schematic design approved by the SRD board in November 2018, was provided. The cost estimate at that time was $ 62.1-million, given increasing costs of construction escalation on Vancouver Island and new tariffs, particularly on steel. The SRD was prepared for that to increase further and project financing was anticipated to be covered by grant funding as well as a reserve fund that was already being contributed to by taxpayers.
Based on the feedback provided from the initial grant application, the follow-up REC-REATE funding request included a scaled-down ask that focused on the project’s new aquatic space, revitalization of the central area, weight room and rehabilitation/wellness space that run Island Health programs along with new detailed designs of the completed schematic drawings.
Improvements and upgrades to the ice facilities were not included in this funding request.
REC- REATE Scaled Down Second Grant Application Includes:
A new aquatic centre containing:
- 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
Improving fitness/wellness areas and activities:
- 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 were not included in the second grant application however the SRD will continue to advocate and pursue future funding opportunities as they arise.