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Coquitlam delays new Burke Mountain recreation centre by a year

Shovels will go in the ground about a year later than anticipated for the Northeast Community Centre on Burke Mountain.

Shovels will go in the ground about a year later than anticipated for the Northeast Community Centre on Burke Mountain.

This week, Coquitlam staff said the construction start time had to be bumped to 2024 — with completion now set for early 2027— to refine the plans after a public outreach in December and January.

City staff are also undertaking a number of technical and environmental studies, as well as a library branch feasibility study, and are discussing the $115-million facility with the kʷikʷəƛ̓əm (Kwikwetlem) First Nation.

News of the delay prompted the two city councillors with Burke Mountain roots to raise the alarm about the capital project, citing the rising costs and supply chain challenges to get building materials.

At Monday’s meeting (May 30), Brent Asmundson and Craig Hodge also spoke about the need for a recreation hub in the future Burke Mountain Village that will serve as the commercial heart of the neighbourhood.

The city is planning 50,000 residents in the mountainside community.

"There is an eagerness for this facility," Asmundson said, but noted he’s OK with the setback to fine-tune the plans.

"I’m hoping we can tighten the timeline," Hodge said. "Every month, the materials are going up."

Tiina Mack, Coquitlam’s manager of parks and facility planning, told council-in-committee a public survey and four open houses, as well as comments from the Northeast Coquitlam Ratepayers Association and advisory groups, revealed more wants in the new 80,000 sq-ft. building.

Among them includes:

  • an ice rink
  • six pool lanes — not four
  • a covered skateboard park
  • environmental considerations for design and operations
  • more parking

Coun. Trish Mandewo said the city has to consider priorities, as well as funding and slope construction issues at the 10-acre site.

Currently, the rec centre plans call for an aquatics facility, multipurpose rooms, a fitness centre, two gyms, accessible change rooms, a library branch and an indoor walking track with a $12-million park/plaza next door.

Mack, who describe the proposed centre as "one of the largest projects in the city in years," said staff are looking at aquatics citywide.

And she noted the pool in the new Port Coquitlam Community Centre (PCCC) and the future updates at the Hyde Creek Recreation Centre, down Coast Meridian Road in PoCo.

Still, Hodge said Burke residents want amenities close to home.

"Traffic congestion is more and more severe getting out of Burke Mountain," he said, adding, "There’s going to be a lot of people living up there."