The ‘Emerging Vision’ for West Van community recreation centre was recently articulated by Blue Sky Task Force
A year-round ice arena, rooftop top tennis courts, an expanded senior’s centre with a public space, and a new mixed use building are some of the key ideas that could move from an existing vision on the paper to reality for West Vancouver residents if the council accepts and funds the needs of the West Vancouver Community Recreation Centre in the next decade.
The ‘Emerging Vision’ for the community recreation centre was recently articulated by the West Vancouver Community Services Society’s Blue Sky Task Force, a citizens group that has been brainstorming on what the community would need for recreation and cultural facilities in the future.
Phase 1 of this emerging vision contemplates replacing the existing Ice Arena in the next five years. The existing facility is 50 years old, smaller than standard size ice surface, runs on inefficient mechanical system, requires annual shutdowns and is near the end of its life term. The task force vision is for the council to support one full NHL regulation sheet of ice and a second smaller sheet for leisure skating.
(For more North Shore news updates, Like/Follow the Global Canadian on Facebook.)
Rooftop tennis courts and 16,000 square feet of community space for potential use such as childcare, youth centre and fitness are also envisioned. The task force also envisions a new multi-use public gathering space with public art and events. In the next 10 years, the phase 2 of this plan imagines a new senior’s activity centre with a new state of the art facility that is three times larger than what is available now, with a goal to create an environment that meets the evolving needs of the senior’s population in West Vancouver.
The third phase is a re-imagination of the south-east corner of the recreation site with possible aquatic facilities and a strong anchor in the form of an iconic building that establishes a sense of being in a place whose “historical charm has been a collection of villages, each with their own appeal.” The third phase may take well over a decade to take shape, the task force reckons.
Of course, to bring this vision to reality would require political willingness to spend tax payer dollars, and the number can be quite staggering. Caution in expectations is what Councillor Bill Soprovich suggested. “There is nothing wrong with getting this out in the public, but the price tag cost on this is shattering. It will be 10 years since we start and it would be millions just on the ice arena,” he said.
Councillor Craig Cameron said this will indeed be a costly venture and there would be a need to generate revenue before the plan moved forward. “The designing is right and what is good for the community. If we need to revise this, we are on a right track,” he said.
The preliminary budget estimates for Phase 1 suggests it would take $50 million to realise the vision. To bring the second phase of the vision to reality could cost as much as $61 million while to realise the third phase could cost anywhere in the range of $40-50 million.
For more North Shore news updates, Like/Follow the Global Canadian on Facebook.