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January 10, 2020

City of Powell River seeks public input on Recreation Complex upgrades

An extensive public engagement process begins on Friday, January 10 to decide on a plan for the City of Powell River Recreation Complex Rehabilitation.

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.

“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,” said Boogaards.

Powell River, qathet Regional District and Tla’amin Nation residents will have plenty of opportunity to engage with the City on the Rehabilitation Plan.

A survey on the online public engagement platform 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 at the complex.

“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, there are improvements that must be made, including the 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 that they can make informed decisions.