The majority of survey respondents in Castlegar and area have voted for Complex upgrades estimated to cost $32,370,000 (Option B. For more information about facility options, visit https://myactivityhub.ca/the-project/facility-options/ ).
In a press release issued today, the RDCK indicated that almost 1,200 households completed the survey, with 62 per cent saying they would support Option B (see below for specific details) in a referendum, and 38 per cent saying they would not.
“These findings are considered reliable and representative of residents in the area,” the release said. “The form and timing of a potential referendum will be considered by the Recreation Commission at their next meeting.”
A referendum in 2010 saw residents soundly reject a potential $25-million Complex expansion/upgrade, inspiring recreation officials to go back to the drawing board and exponentially increase public consultation on the matter (for a list of community consultation events, see https://myactivityhub.ca/the-project/ ).
“Throughout this process, it has been important for the community to have their say on potential upgrades to their community complex. I would like to thank everyone for providing their input in this survey or through other consultation points along the way,” said Lawrence Chernoff, Chair of the Castlegar and District Recreation Commission. “The results give us confidence to move the project along to the next stage.”
Whether the results are truly an accurate reflection of the larger community remains to be seen.
“It’s definitely a risk,” said Recreation Manager Jim Crockett. “All we can do is go by the numbers in the survey results we got back. It (the previous referendum) was eight years ago, things have changed. We’ve done a lot of community consultation since then – we’re not just picking this out of the air. I think people are more engaged this time, and understand what’s going on. “
As to whether the referendum might have an impact on the upcoming municipal elections in November, Crockett said that’s yet another issue to resolve in what will be a complex (forgive the pun) endeavour.
“The commission is considering all of those things, including the type and timing of a referendum,” he said. “It’s just another variable the commissioners have to consider.”
Option B includes all of Option A plus a second ice sheet at the complex–teams rooms and lobby extension.
Option B Enhancement Components
- Demolition of condemned arena storage area
- Acoustic improvements to the arena
- Additional hockey change rooms
- New expanded fitness room (cardio, stretching, weights)
- New fitness studio and storage (group classes)
- Elevator and stair access to level 2
- Regulation sized ice sheet
- 150 spectator seats
- Team rooms
- Lobby extension to facilitate more leisure skating activities
- Lobby expansion & upgrades
- New reception
- “Fireside” room
- Warm viewing area to arena
- Administration offices
- Multipurpose / party room
- New indoor walking track
- New leisure pool with water features, lazy river and beach entry
- Change room retrofit
- Universal change room expansion
- Spray pad
Note: Professional consultants have determined the Pioneer Arena is neither sustainable nor viable and a plan is being developed for its closure. There will be no further taxpayer funds committed to do significant repairs to the facility. Information about the Pioneer Arena status and usage can be found in the May 2, 2017, public open house presentation.
If Option B is selected, a new ice sheet is planned to replace the Pioneer Arena.