An extensive public engagement process begins on Friday, January 10, to decide on a plan for the Powell River Recreation Complex rehabilitation.
City of Powell River parks, recreation and culture director Ray Boogaards said the city is creating the plan to prioritize facility upgrades to respond to the community’s recreational and social needs for the next 20 years. For the plan to be complete, public input is key, he added.
“The question is how do we plan for the present and future without consulting with the public and user groups to find out what they want in their community recreation centre,” stated Boogaards in a media release on Thursday, January 9.
Powell River and qathet Regional District residents, as well as Tla’amin Nation citizens will have opportunities to engage with the city on the rehabilitation plan. A survey at participatepr.ca is open to engage with the community.
In addition to the survey, information events are planned for the public and user groups with the architectural firm contracted for the project, Architecture 49, headquartered in Vancouver. The consultants will be in Powell River on Wednesday, January 22, and Thursday, January 23, for public engagement sessions at the recreation complex beginning at 6:30 pm in the Arbutus Room.
“We need to come up with a plan of action that is supported by the community through this public process,” said Boogaards. “We know there are improvements that have to be made, but what does the public want? Do they want to see a water slide? Do they want to see changes to the aquatic centre, the rink or the arena? Do they think our fitness room is big enough? Do we need to look at accessibility, which we know is one of the biggest issues? Are there ideas for making improvements to the theatre and meeting rooms? What are we missing? Where can we make changes to improve the complex?”
Boogaards added that there are improvements that must be made, including the recreation complex’s mechanical and electrical components, the chlorine system for the swimming pool, seismic factors, and a follow-up to the review of the refrigeration plant.
City staff will use the architectural rehabilitation plan to make recommendations on facility improvements based, in part, on the survey and input at public events. Once complete, the plan, with recommendations, will be brought before city council so it can make informed decisions.