Just weeks after Port Coquitlam opened its full community centre — and Coquitlam announced a new rec facility on Burke Mountain last week — another Tri-City municipality is now poised to build a civic space.
Once up in two years, the new meeting place will include rooms for the village administration, which has been operating out of rented mobile trailers on site at a cost of $3,000 per month, Mayor John McEwen said.
As well, the 18,240 sq. ft. building will have a large community room for service groups and residents to host indoor events — a first for the village as programs are typically held outdoors at Spirit Park.
And it will double as the Emergency Operations Centre and reception centre for evacuees, if required.
Designed in 2019 by Johnston Davidson Architecture, the two-storey building is expected to have natural materials like stone and wood to fit in with the character of the semi-rural community north of Port Moody.
As for the $8 million price tag, of which 15 per cent — or $1.15 million — is set aside for contingency, the currently debt-free village will use
- a long-term loan through the Municipal Finance Authority: $2.5 million
- federal and provincial grants applied through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program: $2.5 million
- capital reserves: $2 million
- developer contributions: $845,000
- secured provincial grants: $125,000
In July, the village council OK’d a $120,000 expenditure to hire ARC Projects to stickhandle the project.
But the tenders came in too high, McEwen told the Tri-City News today (Oct. 21), so the village is now trying a different development process and possibly reducing the size and scope of the much-needed building.
McEwen said Anmore residents are aware of the financial pressures — with bids going out during the pandemic, and labour and material costs rising six per cent annually — as well as the project changes.
Still, “council is really committed to staying within the $8 million budget,” CAO Juli Halliwell told the Tri-City News.
McEwen said the village hopes to have an announcement soon about the project moving forward as “we have been saving for 10 years for this. It’s one of our biggest priorities because people want a place to meet.”
He added the pandemic highlighted the urgency for a civic facility: In recent discussions with the provincial government about places to distribute food and immunizations, “we have nothing for our residents.”
As for the possibility of sharing the future Emergency Operations Centre and reception area with residents in Belcarra — Anmore’s neighbour to the west, which is also semi-rural and shares its volunteer fire department — McEwen said he’d be open to the idea although he’s yet to reach out to Mayor Jamie Ross.
The new Anmore Community Hub will spur future improvements in the adjacent Spirit Park ($450,000 for a new playground and drainage upgrades) and the realignment of Ravenswood Road ($388,000).