Grant opportunity available for Comox Valley Sports Centre upgrades

The Comox Valley Sports Centre is about 45 years old. File photo

The Comox Valley Sports Centre is about 45 years old. File photo

Area A director Daniel Arbour was acclaimed chair of the Comox Valley Recreation Commission, retaining the position he held over the past year, while Comox director Maureen Swift was elected vice-chair at the inaugural commission meeting Tuesday.

The Comox Vally Sports Centre falls within the purview of the commission. There are two sheets of ice operating at the centre, and a Request For Proposal has been issued for an electronic ice resurfacer.

An ice allocation review is also underway. It will include an engagement process with user groups, and research facilities in other communities.

During COVID, drills and skills are allowed at Sports Centre ice, but games and scrimmages are not.

The Sports Centre swimming pool is operating at 60 per cent capacity, in terms of programming that had been offered pre-COVID at the two swimming pools in the Comox Valley.

The CVRD is in the building permitting process for a new dressing room for the Comox Valley Glacier Kings junior B hockey team, and a concession renovation is also underway at the Sports Centre.

“We’re looking forward to offering this spring some healthy initiative programming, as well as the various outdoor and indoor programming,” said Jennifer Zbinden, senior manager of recreation services.

A provincial grant opportunity is available for upgrades to the Sports Centre, which is about 45 years old.

“It’s coming towards the end of its life,” Zbinden said. “We need to carry on thinking about, ‘What are we going to do with the pool piece’”?

Last summer, a pool assessment determined that $3.125 million worth of upgrades are needed in the next few years to maintain the pool’s service life. Overall aquatic area improvements are about $3.625 million when fibre optics installation, parking lot repaving and LED lighting upgrades are included.

The commission supported a grant application, which is due Jan. 27. Work needs to be completed by Dec. 31 of this year.

Later Tuesday, the CVRD board supported the application. The board will consider a subsequent report Jan. 26 that provides final application details.

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