A new 55,000-square foot YMCA facility could soon be coming to Coquitlam, and would serve as a hub for a myriad of social, cultural and sports services.
Representatives from the YMCA of Greater Vancouver briefed council in committee Monday about the potential for entering into a partnership with the city for a new facility in either the southwest or northeast of the city.
Modelled after other YMCA locations across the nation, the facility would be designed to cater to all age groups and ethnicities and could include a swimming pool, fitness centre, gymnasium, multi-purpose rooms, childcare centre, open lobby, food service and administrative spaces.
“The YMCA’s programs and facilities can be seen simply as tools to a much greater purpose: that of making a difference in the life a child, family and a community,” said Stephen Butz, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater Vancouver.
A staff report notes the city began talks with the YMCA several months ago and, pending council approval, a memorandum of understanding will be signed to co-ordinate how the project will move forward.
From there, a market study will be conducted, for which the city has earmarked $20,000. The study will include phone surveys of local residents and neighbouring communities to determine the feasibility of the project.
“The idea of the YMCA developing a new role in Coquitlam presents a potential opportunity to expand services to citizens and address emerging needs in anticipation of population growth,” said Lori MacKay, Coquitlam’s manager of parks, recreation and culture services.
Should the project receive the green light, capital costs would be shared between the city and the YMCA. Those costs would include the land purchase, design and construction. The YMCA would be responsible for all ongoing operating costs associated with the facility.
“Making this promise is not something we take lightly,” said Butz.
The YMCA of Greater Vancouver employs more than 1,300 people in Metro Vancouver and is the province’s largest provider of licensed childcare.
Nationally, the federation consists of 51 associations serving about two million Canadians.
“I really believe that what we’d end up with is much greater than we as a city have provided in many of our other facilities,” said Mayor Richard Stewart. “It’s a facility that provides elements that we traditionally don’t as a city.”
Monday’s discussion will be back before council at an Oct. 15 meeting.