THE first designs have been unveiled for the new William Griffin community recreation centre.
The facility will be an approximately 84,000square-foot, three-level, largely glassed-in building and will include features such as a 25-metre pool, fitness areas, arts and crafts workshops and meeting spaces.
The designs were unveiled at an open house on Thursday evening by the District of North Vancouver and North Vancouver Recreation Commission.
Allison Rzen, chairwoman of the rec commission, said the new facility makes use of space and offers more room for the public.
"Key changes would be a better leisure pool component," said Rzen, adding the pool would meet the needs of a variety of users, including seniors and families.
Rzen said she feels the new facility is more of a "community centre than just a recreation centre."
Changes from the previous centre also include more fitness areas and a community kitchen.
"There is much more generous leisure area than what's existing," said Gary Houg, manager of maintenance and engineering services with the commission.
Cathy Matheson, manager of marketing and administration for the commission, said the current William Griffin community recreation centre and the Delbrook community recreation centre have been combined into one and include some unique amenities in the aquatic areas, including the leisure pool and universal change rooms.
"It's a building that is beautifully integrated into the site," said Matheson. "It feels right to scale."
Matheson said the new facility has a "nicely integrated flow" from the indoor space to outdoors and "circulation around the site has improved," such as pick-up and drop-off areas.
Matheson added the new centre would include underground parking, lots of green space and the "integration of lifts in the pool."
There has been debate about the City and District of North Vancouver pitching in on an Olympic-sized 50-metre pool, but Mayor Richard Walton said this site "was too small to begin with."
"The recommendation was to build what the broader community could use," said Walton.
Walton said the centre is on budget so far, but "final numbers will be tweaked."
The design of the building does have some cost cutting factors, including its south-facing windows that Walton said could save on electricity.
"It's very West Coast," he said.
As for the fate of Delbrook community centre, Walton said the closing date would not be for a number of years. "The intent is to build the rec centre before we decide what to do with Delbrook," said Walton.
The current William Griffin community centre will close in December, with construction slated to begin early next year and the opening of the new facility set for spring or summer of 2016.
© Copyright 2013