New Westminster, BC – New Westminster City Council has approved the development of a 24,000 square foot gymnastics and multi-sport facility in Queen’s Park to re-establish the programs and services offered at the former Queen’s Park Arenex on an interim basis. The proposed building technology would include a rigid frame stretched fabric membrane structure that will allow for an ongoing set-up for gymnastics and trampoline programs with additional dedicated space for the wide variety of other sports formerly offered at the Arenex.
“We recognize the value and importance gymnastics and trampoline programs have in our city and to New Westminster Parks and Recreation making it essential for us to move forward with a new facility to meet the needs of the community,” said Mayor Jonathan Coté. “As we look and plan for the future, the new gymnastics and multi-sport facility will be a welcome addition to our city and ensure New Westminster remains a healthy and active community for years to come.”
“This new facility offers us a unique opportunity to not only efficiently and effectively restore former Arenex programs and services, but it will also allow for us to expand and introduce new programs that would typically require larger gymnasium space,” said Dean Gibson, Director of Parks and Recreation. “Since the loss of the Arenex, our goal has always been to fully restore programs as quickly as possible and this interim solution will allow us to do just that.”
It is anticipated that the new facility would take approximately 10-12 months to develop and construct. The structure is engineered to meet or exceed local building codes and is made from environmentally sustainable materials. The roof material allows natural light to permeate the space minimizing the need for artificial lighting during the day and reducing energy costs. Similar structures include the Poirier Forum in Coquitlam.
The majority of the funding will come from the proceeds of insurance from the Arenex loss with residual proceeds available to apply towards any longer term building solutions that the City may wish to pursue.
Council has recently considered a series of longer term options to re-instate the programs and services formerly offered at Queen’s Park Arenex. Concurrent to this process is ongoing work related to feasibility planning for the replacement of the facilities at the Canada Games Pool (CGP) and Centennial Community Centre (CCC) site. In this regard Council is taking into account a series of scenarios, some of which may see some or all of the Arenex programs being integrated into a new facility at the CGP/CCC site. If gymnastics programs are incorporated into a future permanent facility, the interim structure can be made available to accommodate a variety of sports and recreation opportunities into the future.
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