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Time to speak on Riverview

West Lawn is a heritage building in disrepair on the Riverview Hospital grounds in Coquitlam. - tri-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO
West Lawn is a heritage building in disrepair on the Riverview Hospital grounds in Coquitlam.
— image credit: tri-CITY NEWS FILE PHOTO

Should the Riverview Hospital lands be opened up for a new university campus focusing on health sciences?

What about dedicating it as a filming site?

Or do you see some or all of the 244 acres used for market housing?

The possibilities are endless and, next week, the provincial agency in charge of the future of the 102-year-old Coquitlam property wants to hear from you about how the former mental health institution can redevelop.

BC Housing — along with representatives from Shared Services BC (which is responsible for the grounds) as well as city of Coquitlam staff and other consultants — will be on hand to guide the public through the first of four visioning exercises for Riverview, looking at its history, natural assets, heritage buildings and current overall state.

The first open house is a drop-in, meaning residents and stakeholders can view information boards, ask questions and offer suggestions about how Riverview could be upgraded for a city land-use plan. The session will be held:

• Thursday, Feb. 27, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Burquest Jewish community centre, 2860 Dewdney Trunk Rd., Coquitlam;

• and Saturday, March 1, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Centennial Pavilion, Poirier community centre (620 Poirier St.).

Afterward, BC Housing will follow up with open houses in May/June, September and December — with the last session presenting a draft vision as a blueprint for a future neighbourhood plan.

In the meantime, BC Housing has set up a website at renewingriverview.com, which includes past studies and online feedback opportunities. You can also sign up for email alerts and Twitter feeds at @RenewRiverview.

Both Coquitlam city council and the Tri-Cities’ Chamber of Commerce have said they want to see Riverview returned as a mental health hub but they are also open to economic development on the site.

BC Housing reps have said any redevelopment and heritage building repurposing needs to “break even” for investment to happen.

jwarren@tricitynews.com

 

 

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