The City of Coquitlam will take over operations of the new Place Maillardville Community Centre when it opens this fall.
On Monday (March 7), the city announced it will be running the replacement facility instead of the Société Place Maillardville Society (SPMS), a third party that has managed the existing venue for years and has strong ties to the French-Canadian neighbourhood.
Lanny Englund, Coquitlam’s general manager of parks, recreation, culture and facilities, thanked the society for its “diligent stewardship” and said city staff will work with its board on the transition of Place Maillardville from a “neighbourhood house” to a “community centre.”
Councillors at the March 7 committee meeting gave no feedback to Englund’s report.
In an email today (March 9), the society's president Bill Boons told the Tri-City News: "Our society is glad to see that the long-awaited new community centre will soon be a reality in the Maillardville neighbourhood."
"While we are disappointed with the decision of the city to take over the operations of the new facility, the society remains committed to finding ways to continue delivering important and popular programs to this community, many of which we deliver off-site in a variety of locations."
Boons added, "In the meantime, we will continue working closely with the City of Coquitlam to ensure a smooth transition and a continuity of programming that reflects the variety and scope that have been delivered by the society for many years."
Approved by council in May 2020, the new Place Maillardville will be twice the size as the current venue, at 22,000 sq. ft., and cost $25 million to construct next to the existing, 40-year-old centre at 1200 Cartier Ave.
The new premises will include a
- fitness studio
- combined youth and seniors lounge
- dedicated children’s space
- teaching kitchen
Coquitlam residents can now take part in a survey via letstalkcoquitlam.ca/pmcc to identify what types of programs they want to see in the new spaces.
Among the suggested programming in the gym is floor curling, basketball, pickleball, volleyball, badminton and soccer.
In the second-floor fitness room, which will have a sprung wood floor, the city is suggesting dance classes, as well as group fitness, table tennis, yoga/pilates, martial arts and pre-natal and postpartum sessions.
For the children’s area, also on the second floor and opening onto a covered outdoor space, the city could run language programs plus yoga and family drop-ins, day camps, arts and crafts and childminding, for example.
And, in the plaza outside, which has yet to be fully designed, the city is floating ideas such as space for walking and biking clubs, and outdoor recreational educational programs.
Coquitlam residents will be able to use the city’s ONE PASS card at the renovated centre and sign up for programs via the city’s website: coquitlam.ca/registration.
According to the 2021 census, the Maillardville neighbourhood — once the largest Francophone community in western Canada because of the Fraser Mills sawmill — is now made up of residents whose first language is English, Korean, Mandarin, Cantonese or Tagalog.
As a result, there will be a focus on multi-cultural programming, Englund said.
Englund said the net operating costs for the new recreation complex are estimated at $865,000 a year — up $320,000 annually from the former building.
In the 2022 budget that council OK’d last December, a $300,000 contingency was set aside for the facility transition.
The current board of directors for the Société Place Maillardville Society is made up of:
- Bill Boons, president
- Iris Yong, vice president
- Phil Cappellini, treasurer
- Husain Vahanvaty, secretary
- Richard Coulombe, director
- Tracy Frazer, director
- Andrea Mau, director
- Noami Khan, director
- Rebecca Reznick, director