Another $600,000 will be spent to build a public plaza next to the new Maillardville Community Centre, a 22,000 sq-ft. hub that opened in Laval Square last fall.
In May, Coquitlam council unanimously approved the request for more cash to construct the plaza by the end of the year (Coun. Craig Hodge was not present for the vote).
That means the city is now budgeting $3 million for the capital project, of which the extra money will come from the city’s Density Bonus Reserve.
At its meeting on May 15, council did not talk about the price bump; however, Lanny Englund, Coquitlam's general manager of parks, recreation, culture and facilities, said the hike is due to the rising costs of construction and materials post–pandemic.
In April, before the final design and budget rolled out, city staff estimated the plaza at 1200 Cartier Ave. to be around $2.4 million.
In his May 8 report to council, Englund wrote the proposal for the 0.44-acre public gathering space also changed because of the future non-market seniors housing project to the east of the community centre campus.
"Due to the housing's scale and proximity to the plaza, design changes were required to integrate the adjacent use to ensure constructibility and compatible programming in the plaza space," he stated.
Still, Englund reiterated that public feedback from 2019 about how the plaza should look and feel largely remain in tact with:
- tiered seating (there is a grade difference of 23 feet from the northern to southern ends)
- creative play with climbable rubber surfacing and a concrete slide
- cultural/historical connections, using heavy timber seating to harken to the Fraser Mills sawmill days
- a social plaza with moveable furniture, court games and a performance space for up to 100 viewers
- an open grassy area for picnics
As well, there's a possibility of a mural on the northern end of a retaining wall, he said.
Englund said city staff reached out to the Maillardville Residents Association about the plaza plans and will be attending an upcoming association meeting.
The former Place Maillardville Community Centre is now demolished.
The annual budget to maintain the Maillardville Community Centre Plaza is $115,000.