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Construction starts in June for plaza next to new Coquitlam rec centre

The $2.4-million green space beside the Maillardville Community Centre will include elements that pay homage to the city's lumber history.

A plaza next to a new community centre in Coquitlam will be ready by the end of the year.

And the $2.4-million space will include elements that harken to the city’s lumber mill history.

On Monday (April 24), the city’s council-in-committee OK’d the concept for the park next to the Maillardville Community Centre (MCC) — a 22,000 sq-ft. building that opened last fall.

Lanny Englund, Coquitlam's general manager of parks, recreation, culture and facilities, said the plaza design has changed since the city called for public feedback in 2019; however, many of the resident priorities remain.

Once built, the 0.44-acre site will include:

  • tiered seating
  • creative play (climbable rubber surfacing; concrete slide)
  • cultural/historical connections (to the nearby Laval Square; heavy timber seating to reference the milling and logging at Fraser Mills)
  • social plaza (paved gathering space with movable furniture; table court games)
  • open lawn area (passive use; picnicking)

Englund said all ages will be able to use the plaza — from kids taking MCC programs to seniors living in a new non-market residential building east of the rec centre.

"The adjacency of the community centre and plaza to the seniors' housing project is a strong benefit as these amenities will provide opportunities for social interaction and physical health programming for future residents," he wrote in his report.

Meanwhile, the old Place Maillardville Community Centre (PMCC) has now been demolished, said Doron Fishman, Coquitlam's park planning and design manager.

He said the city hopes to start the plaza construction in June as part of the overall site redevelopment on Cartier Avenue.

Funding for the plaza project comes from development cost charges (DCC) and general revenue; however, Englund warned the committee that, given the ongoing construction cost escalations in recent years, it's expected more money will be needed.