Work on Courtenay rec centre expansion almost ready to start

The long-awaited Lewis Centre expansion and renovation is almost underway.

The long-awaited Lewis Centre expansion and renovation is almost underway.

On Aug. 7, crews will begin setting up the construction fencing that will surround the work area. The real work begins Aug. 15, when the contractor will break ground on the expansion project.

“It’s been a long road with lots of planning and consultation with user groups,” said Randy Wiwchar, the City’s director of community services. “We’ve been tweaking the design for months trying to get it just right.”

The project requires fencing in and around the construction zone, including part of the parking lot. Patrons are asked to use extra caution in the parking lot once the fencing goes up and seek alternate parking elsewhere if possible including at Lewis Park, Simms Park, the LINC Youth Centre, and on nearby Puntledge Road and Tsolum Road.

The project will include an 11,000-square-foot expansion, to be built from August 2012 to April 2013. Once the expansion is complete, work will begin on renovations to portions of the existing facility. The entire project is scheduled to be complete in September 2013.

Improvements will include a new wellness centre that is nearly four times as large as the existing weight room, new large and small multi-purpose rooms, increased accessibility, storage, as well as better energy efficiency and ventilation.

Wiwchar noted the collaborative aspect of the design process resulted in some key design decisions.

“Working with staff who are in the building every day, and representatives from groups like the squash club and the accessibility committee, gave us some really great feedback and suggestions.”

One example was the decision to build a mezzanine in the squash court area.

“That idea was actually from one of the squash players,” stated Wiwchar. “It’s going to serve two purposes; one, it’s going to create a new meeting area for squash players and other groups away from high-traffic areas, and two, it’s going to deflect some of the noise from the squash courts away from the front office. ”

The $5.4-million project has received $400,000 in funding from the Province of BC’s Community Recreation Program. The City is actively seeking other funding opportunities to help reduce borrowing costs.

While the project will undoubtedly come with challenges, particularly with parking, Wiwchar notes the end result will be a much improved, user-friendly facility.

“We’re going to continue to do our best to provide great service and programs to the community during construction,” said Wiwchar. “We look forward to being able to give our patrons a beautiful new and improved Lewis Centre at the end of it.”

For more information, visit or call 250-334-4441.

— City of Courtenay

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

A WestJet flight on the runway leaving Comox. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Aviation company seeks contracted employees to fill former WestJet roles at YQQ

Menzies Aviation from Edinburgh Park, Scotland, operates in 34 countries across the world

A cougar was spotted Monday near Queneesh Elementary. (WildSafe BC photo)
Cougar sighted Monday near Courtenay school

Conservation officers are warning the public to avoid the wooded areas around… Continue reading

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19: B.C. seniors aged 90+ can start to sign up for vaccination on March 8

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
SD71 to address COVID-19 exposures with virtual town hall

The meeting is set for Thursday, March 4

Courtenay Elementary is the latest school on a growing list that has COVID-19 exposures. Google Maps photo
Courtenay Elementary latest school on growing list of COVID-19 exposures

Exposure dates at the school on McPhee Avenue are Feb. 22, 23 and 24

Langley resident Carrie MacKay shared a video showing how stairs are a challenge after spending weeks in hospital battling COVID-19 (Special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Stairs a challenge for B.C. woman who chronicled COVID-19 battle

‘I can now walk for six (to) 10 minutes a day’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s coronavirus situation, May 8, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C.’s weekend COVID-19 cases: 532 Saturday, 508 Sunday, 438 Monday

Fraser Health still has most, eight more coronavirus deaths

B.C. Attorney General David Eby speaks in the legislature, Dec. 7, 2020. Eby was given responsibility for housing after the October 2020 provincial election. (Hansard TV)
B.C. extends COVID-19 rent freeze again, to the end of 2021

‘Renoviction’ rules tightened, rent capped to inflation in 2022

Face mask hangs from a rear-view mirror. (Black Press image)
B.C. CDC unveils guide on how to carpool during the pandemic

Wearing masks, keeping windows open key to slowing the spread of COVID-19

Churches, including Langley’s Riverside Calvary Church, are challenging the regulations barring them from holding in-person worship services during COVID-19. (Langley Advance Times file)
Tofino Resort and Marina has temporarily shut down after several staff members tested positive for COVID-19. (Nora O’Malley photo)
COVID-19 confirmed at Tofino Resort and Marina

Resort apologizes to Hesquiaht First Nation for Valentine’s Day boating incident.

Det. Sgt. Jim Callender. (Hamilton Police Service screenshot)
B.C. man dead, woman seriously injured after shooting in Hamilton, Ont.

The man was in the process of moving to the greater Toronto area, police say

Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hills using a homemade trip camera. Vancouver Island is home to approximately 800 cougars, which makes up about a quarter of the total population in B.C. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hill using a homemade trip camera. Schroyen presents Animal Signs: The Essence of Animal Communication on Nov. 30. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Declining Vancouver Island cougar populations linked to wolves

Large carnivore specialist says human development still plays biggest role on cougar numbers

Most Read