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PoCo unveils rec centre design drawings

City also names the builder for its new rec complex
New PoCo rec centre
Illustrations show the planned PoCo community recreation complex, on the site of the current rec centre.

The city of Port Coquitlam is partnering with the company that built the Langley Events Centre to build its new recreation complex.

Burnaby-based Ventana Construction, which built the LEC as well as Prospera Centre in Chilliwack and will be working with Quantum Properties and Architecture 49 in PoCo, won a bid process to build the new community rec complex, which also includes housing and commercial space on a 15-acre parcel of land in downtown PoCo.

Mayor Greg Moore said that after extensive community engagement to find out what the public was looking for in a new rec complex, it become obvious: “They really came out and said ‘We want a community gathering facility.’”

The new centre, which will replace the old rec facilities at Wilson Avenue and Mary Hill Road, will include a pool, ice arenas and a variety of fitness and multi-purpose space.  

“One of the things that we wanted to do was to ensure that this community gathering facility connected into the downtown. So it’s not just on the edge of the downtown. There was this sense of the architecture that you flow between downtown and this community gathering facility. So that if you’re a parent and you drop your kids off at hockey or something in the aquatics area, they might just go for a walk in the downtown and do some shopping or go to a coffee shop. There is this synergy between the downtown and the rec centre.”

“I think it’s an exciting step for us to be taking,” said Coun. Brad West. “It means that now we can begin down the path of seeing it constructed. What it means to the community is that we are going to have a brand-new community centre that is really going to be a focal point in Port Coquitlam, for community events, for sports and recreation, also just a place for people to gather as well… so I think that is one thing that people are really going to appreciate about this.”

Last summer, the city received $12.5 million from the federal government to help fund the new rec centre project.

The city says final costs for the project will not be known until the soil and site testing and detailed planning work are completed but a July 2015 story in The Tri-City News reported the estimated cost of the capital project was $96.8 million.

Moore said that figure is “in the ballpark” but added, “We want to go to that next step of design before we start to talk about the overall cost for the project.”

While the components of the facility have already been planned, during the next step of detailed design, the city will be working with different user groups to make sure the design works for them and that amenities are appropriate in size and location.

“There could be changes to the design that could increase or decrease the cost of the construction as well,” Moore said.

The city is creating a stakeholders’ group for input on the detailed design, which will be unveiled in July.