Richmond breaks ground on $79.6 million multi-purpose complex
21 July 2014
The City of Richmond has officially launched construction of a $79.6 million multi-purpose complex that will house new aquatic and older adult centres, as well as other sport, recreation and wellness programming.
“Construction of a new aquatic and older adults centre are top priorities for our Council,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “We need these new facilities to meet the existing and future needs of our growing and evolving community. This new multi-purpose complex will become a focal point for our community as it delivers a mix of outstanding services for a diverse group of users.”
The new complex, which will be located in Minoru Park, will replace the Minoru Aquatic Centre, the Minoru Place Seniors Centre and the Minoru Pavilion.
Richmond’s existing civic seniors’ centre needs to expand to meet growing demand. The older adult population is one of the most rapidly growing age segments within Richmond. Older adults currently represent 25 per cent of Richmond’s population compared to 20 per cent a decade ago. There are 43,600 residents over 55 living in Richmond today. In 30 years, there will be well over 100,000, representing 45 per cent of the population. The needs of older adults are also changing. Today’s older adults span a large age range, are culturally diverse and are very active within the community. This is particularly the case in Richmond which has both Canada’s longest average lifespans and largest percentage of residents who are immigrants.
Richmond’s aquatic centres and pools are among the City’s most popular recreational facilities, with more than 900,000 average annual visitors combined. In 2013, there were nearly half a million visits alone to Minoru Aquatic Centre. Parts of Minoru Aquatic Centre date back to 1958 and the facility lacks many amenities that are commonly expected in modern facilities. Over the decades, the City has made numerous additions and renovations to the centre but that is no longer economically practical.
The new facility will also include program space for community sport, recreation and wellness programs formerly housed in the 50-year-old Minoru Pavilion, which has now been closed and will be demolished to provide space for the new facility.
The City is working on programming and building configuration plans for the complex, in consultation with stakeholders groups. Council is committed to ensuring that the new complex appropriately addresses the specific and varying needs of all facility user groups and the general community.
Replacing the aquatic and older adult centres on a new site ensures there will be no disruption to users during the construction period. The new multi-purpose complex will open in 2017.
In addition to replacing these important facilities, this project also includes upgrading a number of playing surfaces in Minoru Park. The existing Latrace baseball diamond will be converted into Richmond’s first all-weather artificial turf baseball/soccer field and an additional all-weather artificial turf field is being relocated within the park. The cricket pitch, track and field throwing events and some tennis courts will also be relocated. Work on those projects is already under way and the new fields will open this fall.
The Minoru Civic Precinct projects are part of a comprehensive $123.7 million major capital program which also includes the completion of a new City Centre Community Centre, now under construction and set to open in 2015, and a new No.1 Fire Hall, to be built immediately west of the multi-purpose complex.
The City will finance the projects through use of reserves and borrowing of approximately $50 million to take advantage of low interest rates. The City’s only prior debt will be paid off this year. As a result, Richmond will be able to reallocate current debt payments, along with casino revenue sharing funds, to cover borrowing costs. The financing plan ensures that there will be no property tax increases or operating budget impacts in order to fund construction of the new buildings.
For more information visit www.richmond.ca/minoruprecinct.