- BC Games
Port Coquitlam begins envisioning new recreation center
Port Coquitlam is kick-starting a process that could radically alter the city's downtown to take advantage of transit, recreation opportunities and the potential for commercial and residential development.
This week, the city launched a process for envisioning the future of 15 acres of city-owned land that currently houses the two ice rinks, Wilson Centre seniors facility and Terry Fox Library as well as the now empty site of the former works yard and some parking lots.
The aging facilities are due for an upgrade, says the city's mayor, and the timing is right to look at redeveloping the property, potentially taking advantage of proximity to the West Coast Express station and the potential for luring SkyTrain to PoCo in the future.
"That's the vision we have to create here," Moore said, acknowledging that the process of planning for the site is a "complex land use" issue that will likely involve private development at some point.
This is not the first time the city has looked at redeveloping land in the area. Prior to 2008, Townline was chosen to work with the city on developing residential and commercial projects on the works yard property, which is directly southeast of the rec complex.
That plan was nixed after the recession hit and Moore sees a blank slate for the area, with the public weighing in on what it would like to see to maximize the potential of the property to meet the city's future needs.
"Who knows what uses [there could be]," he said, "and there may be groups with their own ideas."
An advisory committee with groups representing seniors, library users, sports associations, School District 43 and local business will look at various opportunities and report back at the end of the year.
Among the ideas the city will consider:
• expanding the existing ice capacity (the green arena was built in 1969/’70, the blue arena was built in 1976);
• creating a fitness centre;
• making plans to accommodate a swimming pool;
• revitalizing the seniors' centre;
• and providing for residential, commercial and other community uses.
The last time the PoCo rec centre was upgraded was 1999.
Moore said some of the costs of redeveloping recreational facilities could be offset by private development of some of the land.
But the aim of this first phase is to come up with an overall land use concept and layout for the future development of the site. Future phases will be identified once this concept and a development program (including financing) are determined. A consultant has also been hired to oversee the process.
For more information, visit www.portcoquitlam.ca/recplan.