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Upgrades set to turn Coquitlam innovation hub into new community centre

City officials believe the finished Town Centre Park project in 2024 will "relieve pressure" on other civic facilities.

Drop-in visits, public events, arts and culture exhibitions, and space to simply chill.

Coquitlam is hoping these will become mainstays at what will be a new community centre in Town Centre Park around this time next year.

Last Monday (Feb. 6), city council approved final plans to convert the current innovation hub into a larger, more inclusive civic space for the public to use for events, lectures and day-to-day activities.

Ted Uhrich, spokesperson for Coquitlam recreation and culture facility planning, believes, once the project is finished, it'll alleviate pressure and overcapacity issues from other nearby city facilities.

This includes Pinetree Community Centre and Glen Pine Pavilion.

"Proposed activities could include programs that take advantage of the natural setting such as: children's nature play and learn, after school programs, camps, and outdoor recreation opportunities; science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) and arts programming (both city-delivered and in partnership with the city's cultural partner organizations); and lifelong learning opportunities, including talks and lectures, demonstrations and language classes," explained Ulrich. 

"Community event rentals are also expected."

The current Innovation Centre, located at 1207 Pinetree Way behind the Evergreen Cultural Centre, opened in 1996 and has housed several civic and commercial uses.

The City of Coquitlam took over operations in 2004 for office and meeting space for staff.

When finished, the new Town Centre Park Community Centre is meant to serve as a social and cultural hub, Ulrich added, while noting upgrading the 11,250 sq-ft. facility would be more cost-effective than building a new one entirely.

Features to the new facility include:

Upper level

  • Large open space that will function as a community living room
  • Concession area with services provided by Praguery Food Limited
  • Multi-purpose rooms and flex space
  • Covered deck for exterior programming with lakeside views 

Lower level

  • Studio/maker's space
  • Exterior plaza for indoor/outdoor programming
  • Lounge space to be used as a waiting area or gathering space.
  • More modern meeting rooms and multi-purpose spaces
  • Accessibility improvements to the existing east-side plaza
  • Enhancements to outdoor social space

As well, local artists are set to be called upon later this year to submit designs for a large-scale mural on the south and west exterior walls of the upgraded building.

Construction on the Town Centre Park Community Centre is scheduled to start in April and be finished by spring 2024.

For more information about the project, you can visit the City of Coquitlam's website.