Don’t be surprised if you hear Coquitlam residents running around singing the YMCA song in the coming days and weeks. Today we learned that Coquitlam is one step closer to a new community recreation facility with the signing of an Agreement in Principle by the City of Coquitlam and the YMCA of Greater Vancouver.
The new facility, projected to open in 2018, will be a social and recreation hub for the community. It will help thousands of children and families living in Burquitlam, and throughout the community, to reach their potential through a wide range of health, recreation and wellness programs.
The Agreement in Principle outlines key elements of the partnership between the YMCA and the City and is an important step towards a future facility.
The next step in the process is the selection of a site for the facility, which is planned to be located in the vicinity of the future Burquitlam Evergreen Line rapid transit station. Once a location is selected, information sessions will be held to inform the public on the facility location and planned amenities.
This partnership addresses the need for a community recreation facility in the rapidly expanding Burquitlam neighbourhood as identified in the City of Coquitlam’s strategic plan and Official Community Plan. It is projected that 50% of people using the facility will be youth under the age of 18.
While the community will be consulted about the design and vision for this facility, it is expected that it will be consistent with other recent YMCA family facilities and will provide the following amenities:
- 55-60,000 square feet of space, with underground parking
- Indoor pool to provide a range of teaching, fitness and rehabilitative programming (I personally hope that the pool they build in the Burquitlam facility is like the one in Vancouver that has an ozone water treatment system rather than chlorinated water)
- Change rooms that cater to all ages and abilities, including family change rooms
- Public spaces and common areas
- Gymnasium, studios and strength and conditioning zones
- Multi-purpose rooms to offer a broad range of child, youth and community programs
- Childminding to allow parents and caregivers time to work out
- Family Development Centre to help families raise great kids through programming, resources and support
“Our Burquitlam neighbourhood is a major focus for many of the City of Coquitlam’s initiatives. We know that a recreation facility is a priority for the community there and we look forward to bringing this to reality,” said Mayor Richard Stewart. “With the partnership of the YMCA of Greater Vancouver, we can deliver even more than we would be able to do acting alone. This partnership speaks to the City’s reputation of finding innovative solutions to address community needs to everyone’s benefit.”
“We are excited about working with the City on a shared vision to provide Coquitlam residents with a community amenity that offers families support and opportunities to be active together and reach their potential,” says Stephen Butz, President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Vancouver. “The Y has offered some child care programming in the community for decades, but looks forward to improving the quality of life for thousands more residents of Burquitlam. We are privileged to have a partner of the City’s caliber and look forward to engaging the community to develop a safe, welcoming and family-friendly facility.”