Community Recreation Complex Project
We’re replacing the aging recreation facilities and library in our downtown with a vibrant community hub, where people will gather, meet for coffee, watch or participate in activities, and access a variety of services.
Located south of Wilson Avenue between Mary Hill Road and Kingsway Avenue, the 205,000-square-foot Port Coquitlam Community Centre will include a leisure pool, three ice sheets, library, multi-use spaces, games room and lounge, café, gym, fitness centre, outdoor plaza and more.
Existing recreation and library facilities are staying open until they are replaced, thanks to a phased approach to construction.
An adjacent private development is to include a mix of apartment buildings, seniors’ and rental housing, and a restaurant or café.
Latest project updates of the Port Coquitlam Community Centre construction site.
During the construction, access to the existing recreation complex has been moved to two new fully accessible entrances on the west and east sides of the building.
- Vehicles approach the west entrance from Kelly Avenue, and the east entrance from Kingsway Avenue.
- The east entrance will also provide drop-off space and access to the second floor.
- Accessible leisure pool with sloped entry and three 20m lanes
- Three ice sheets: one spectator, one participant and one multi-purpose
- Games room, lounge and kitchen with programming for youth and seniors
- A variety of multi-purpose rooms
- Terry Fox Library, integrated within the facility
- Child minding area
- Fitness centre
- Outdoor plaza with seating, sport courts, amphitheatre and spray park
- Sport medicine office
- Underground parkade
- A café
The new pool will be similar in size to Hyde Creek Recreation Centre’s leisure pool and will focus on leisure and therapeutic activities.
It will feature a sloped entry and will be warmer and shallower than the facilities at Hyde Creek and Centennial Outdoor Pool, both of which will continue to accommodate competitive and fitness-focused swimmers.
To retain the city’s competitive swimming capacity, the City has allocated funding to refurbish Centennial Pool, including the washroom and changing areas.
The three ice sheets will include:
- a main spectator arena – 800 seats
- a participant rink – approx. 150 seats
- a multi-purpose rink with viewing opportunities from the main corridor, which will be a community gathering space
The multi-purpose rink will incorporate an accessible design that allows for standard ice uses (e.g. hockey, ringette and sledge hockey), but it will also have removable boards and other design features to allow for leisure ice, figure skating, or other specific programming that uses a non-standard ice configuration.
Construction Timing and Impacts
Ground-breaking started in mid-March, interior alterations have been completed and programs have been relocated within the existing facility or at Leigh Square Community Arts Village. Once demolition is completed of the front end of Wilson Centre, ground preparations for the new complex will start.
Port Coquitlam Community Centre and Terry Fox Library will remain open until they are replaced. Due to the phased construction approach, new areas will be constructed while existing components are still in use.
This will ensure that services and programming currently offered on the site will continue to be available throughout the construction process. New amenities will start opening up in 2019.
Mitigating Construction Impacts
Safety will be the top priority throughout the project. Public access will be limited to safe areas, but visitors can expect construction noise and vibration at times.
We will do our best to limit the impacts, and appreciate your patience.
City staff are working closely with users and rental groups to reduce the impact on programs as much as possible. In some cases, programs will be temporarily relocated to other sites or spaces, with ample notice provided to participants.
The City has committed to keeping the public and users updated on the project’s progress and construction impacts through information bulletins, website updates and other means.
A stakeholder group has also been formed to provide feedback and engage with the community during the construction process.
Some tree removal on the site took place as part of the construction preparation.
The first phase of construction will eliminate all parking on the north side of the building and much of the west-side parking.
Free parking is no longer be available to West Coast Express commuters, and all on-site parking is limited to three hours.
To ensure parking is available for facility users and customers of local businesses, the city will actively enforce the posted parking limits at the complex and nearby streets, and issue tickets of up to $40 when necessary.
Commuters are encouraged to:
- take transit to the station
- walk or cycle to the station (view trail map)
- use the park and ride lots in Port Coquitlam or neighbouring cities.
There is also some limited parking available within walking distance in the area or at Gates Park.
Trees at the Rec Complex
Construction of the Community Rec Complex requires the removal or relocation of trees that are encroaching on the building footprint or would not survive the construction.
The building design maximizes the buildable space on the site, in part to ensure that there is no interruption to services while new facilities are being built. Removal of the trees for construction purposes is permitted by the City’s Tree Bylaw.
The site has 146 trees. Over the course of the four-year construction period starting in March 2017:
- 24 trees will be preserved – 7 trees will be retained on the site, and 17 trees will be relocated.
- 122 trees will be removed.
Approximately half of the trees were removed in February on the north side of the site to prepare for construction which started in March.
Removing the trees prior to bird-nesting season helped minimize the disturbance to birds.
The City recognizes the loss of trees will have a significant impact on the site until new trees are planted, and will leave the remaining trees standing as long as possible.
The trees on site include a variety of different species, such as cherry, maple, spruce, pine, holly, hazel, Hawthorne, oak, Cypress, magnolia, sequoia, sweetgum and London Plane. These trees were planted during the various stages of expansion and renovation of the existing buildings.
Of the 122 trees to be removed,
- 64 trees were encroaching on the building footprint of the new complex.
- 58 additional trees were identified for removal by a consulting arborist and City parks staff for the following reasons:
- Many of the species are no longer recommended today due to root, disease and structural defects.
- Many have poor structure because they were planted too close to hydro lines and have been severely pruned over the years as they grew into their semi-mature state.
One tree, an 18-metre-tall Douglas Fir near the current Kingsway Avenue entrance, was identified as a significant tree in the City’s Tree Bylaw due to its size and species. The tree was removed as it was impacted by hydro line clearance pruning and fell within the footprint of the new complex. Given the size of the tree, transplant would have been very costly and survival was unlikely.
The Tree Bylaw does permit the removal of significant trees for construction of buildings.
Ventana Construction applied for and received a Tree Removal Permit for the necessary work.
In total, the City was able to preserve 24 trees, including Japanese Cherry, Deodar Cedar, Red Oak, Pin Oak, Red Maple, Flowering Dogwood and Weeping Giant Sequoia.
- 7 trees will be retained on the site, along the perimeter. The trees will be protected from the construction with fencing and signage.
- 17 trees that are young and small enough to survive a relocation will be moved to other City properties and parks.
The City is working with the contractor to determine suitable uses for the wood, such as interior features, carving projects, outdoor kiosks, benches, interpretive signage posts, gazebo or split-rail fencing, educational materials (e.g. tree cookies/tree rings) and natural play features.
The City will also evaluate chipping the branch and stem debris for natural area and specimen tree planting mulch.
Future Trees on the Site
New trees will be planted on the site as part of the project’s landscaping plan, which is still in development.
While the exact quantity has yet to be determined, at the very minimum the City plans to plant at least one tree for each one removed. New trees that don’t fit on the site itself will be added to other City properties and parks.
The landscaping plan will ensure that the appropriate species are planted in the right locations on the site.
Soil Preparation: Pile Driving
Pile driving on the construction site will take place from September to approximately mid January 2018, and during phase 2 construction starting in 2019 (timing TBC).
- Pile driving equipment will operate between 7 am to 7 pm Monday to Friday, and 9 am to 7 pm on Saturdays. No pile driving will take place on Sundays or statutory holidays.
- The buildings on site, surrounding homes and businesses, and passersby will experience noise and vibrations from this activity.
- Both Terry Fox Library and the Port Coquitlam Recreation Complex will continue to operate throughout the pile driving process.
- No health or structural impacts are anticipated (more details below under Noise and Vibrations).
Ventana will work closely with Terry Fox Library and the City to minimize the impact on services and on nearby properties, but pile driving is an inherently disruptive activity that will cause some inconvenience to users, residents and businesses in the area.
We appreciate your patience while this necessary work is completed to ensure the safe construction and long-term stability of the project.
Ventana Construction, the City’s design-build partner in the project, changed the method for preparing the ground underneath the foundation in summer 2017, following recommendations from its geotechnical engineer.
Through ongoing testing and review, it was determined in July 2017 that steel piles would be required because the stone column method initially being used to densify the soil was not sufficient. Since then, a third-party geotechnical engineer and site tests have confirmed that the use of piles will meet the project requirements, and qualified contractors have been hired to conduct the work.
Ventana is working to minimize the impact this change has on the schedule and at this time there are no anticipated impacts on the overall project timeline.
- Approximately 800 steel piles will be needed for the entire site.
- Pile driving of the first 475 piles will begin the second week of September 2017 and take three to four months to complete.
- The second set of piles (approximately 350) will be installed during phase 2 and is expected to take two to three months. Phase 2 is scheduled to begin in spring 2019.
- The piles will be installed using a vibrating hammer, diesel hammer or drop hammer, along with equipment to pre-drill starter holes and hold/feed piles.
Noise and Vibrations:
- Vibrations will be felt by surrounding homes and businesses, as well as within the buildings on the site, but the level of vibration will be minimal and is not expected to cause damage to any structures or health issues.
- The nearest businesses on Wilson Avenue and homes on Mary Hill Road are about 100 feet away, and vibrations at this distance are likely to be perceptible but not troublesome. Residents and businesses further than 200 feet away are unlikely to feel much, if any, vibration. There are no known health impacts from this level of vibration.
- The noise from piling will be audible for several hundred feet, but not at a level that can damage hearing. Sound levels to the nearest businesses and homes are estimated to be in 70 to 80 dB(a) (decibels) – below the 85 dB(a) level that Health Canada considers acceptable for an eight-hour workday.
- The noise will not cause hearing loss for people walking or driving by the site, waiting for the bus nearby or entering one of the buildings. However, those who spend prolonged time around the site watching the construction are recommended to wear CSA-approved hearing protection.
- Library and Rec Complex patrons may hear and feel more from the piling activities than people located off-site, but even so, the insulating capacity of the walls will prevent any hearing damage. Ventana will also be monitoring noise and vibration levels in these areas to ensure the public and staff remain safe.
Additional questions about the pile driving or construction-related matters can be directed to Stuart Kernaghan, Ventana Marketing & Communications Manager, at email@example.com.
Financing and Tax Impact
The impact on taxpayers is being phased in over several years. Taxpayers will pay a $25 parcel tax per property from 2017 to 2020, and property taxes will increase 0.5 per cent in 2017, one per cent in 2018 and one per cent in 2019 to pay for this project. This is in addition to tax increases of 1.28 per cent in 2015 and 0.5 per cent in 2016 that were directed towards the project.
For the average homeowner, the combined levy and tax increases related to the new complex will equate to approximately $110 more in property taxes each year until 2020, and $85 per year afterwards (actual dollar amount will vary based on property value).
The funds collected will initially help pay for the construction of the complex, and will then be used for a loan repayment and ongoing operational and maintenance costs.
- $17 million: sale of city-owned lands, including the former public works yard for the residential and commercial component of the project
- $12.5 million: federal infrastructure grant
- $41.2 million: various internal and reserve funds
- $52 million: borrowed over a 30-year term
- $7.3 million: Community Recreation Complex levies from 2015 to 2019
- $2 million: $25/property parcel tax from 2017 to 2020
A $25 parcel tax will be levied to all Port Coquitlam taxpayers from 2017-2020 to help finance the new Community Recreation Complex.
The tax will raise $2 million towards the construction of the facility in downtown Port Coquitlam. To be completed in 2021, the complex will be a vibrant community hub providing a range of recreational amenities, a library and public spaces.
Parcel Tax Details
- The $25 parcel tax applies to every parcel in Port Coquitlam, and is the same for every parcel. (More than 99% of Port Coquitlam properties have only one parcel. However, those that do have more than one parcel will be charged $25 per parcel.)
- The $25 parcel tax will only be levied from 2017 to 2020 – a total of $100/parcel.
- No properties may opt out of the tax, including those that receive permissive tax exemptions (e.g. churches).
- The funds collected will only be used for the Community Recreation Complex project.
- The parcel tax will appear as a distinct $25 line item on each property’s tax notice.
Why is a Parcel Tax Being Applied?
A variety of funding mechanisms are being implemented to finance the project, to mitigate the impact on taxpayers as much as possible.
The parcel tax will distribute the financing of the project among all parcels, and will only be applied for a finite amount of time (2017-2020).
Following a competitive process, the City selected Ventana Construction, a Burnaby-based general contractor and construction manager, to plan, design and construct the project.
The residential and mixed-use components will offer various ownership and occupancy options. Development of these components will proceed through the City’s regular approval process and dovetail with the Community Recreation Complex construction.
Ventana, which built the Langley Events Centre and Prospera Centre in Chilliwack, focuses on building multi-unit residential, commercial, light industrial and public recreational facilities, primarily in Metro Vancouver.
Ventana has partnered with Quantum Properties for the residential and commercial components and Architecture 49 for the design.
Quantum Properties is an Abbotsford-based real estate development and construction company that has built a number of condo and commercial-retail projects in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley. Architecture 49 is one of the largest architectural firms in Canada and has designed numerous recreational centres.