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North Van's Mickey McDougall gym to get $3 million in upgrades

A federal government grant is covering 80 per cent of the project cost, before Flicka Gymnastics moves in, and should cut emissions by a third.
Flicka Gymnastics Club move to Mickey McDougall
Flicka Gymnastics Club gymnasts Anna Marshall (left), Jayne Carvell, Sarah Saeni Whitredd and Julianne Glowacki stand outside Mickey McDougall Gym in July 2021. The new home of the long-running gymnastics club will be getting major upgrades in the coming years.

North Vancouver’s Mickey McDougall Community Recreation Centre is getting a financial springboard in advance of it becoming the new home of the Flicka Gymnastics Club.

The federal government is kicking in $2.2 million for upgrades to the 1967 rec facility aimed at extending its life and making the building more energy efficient.

North Vancouver MP Jonathan Wilkinson announced the funding for the project Wednesday (Aug. 17). It dovetailed with a larger announcement about Canada’s efforts to wind down greenhouse gas emissions from the country’s 16.5 million buildings.

The federal funding will cover about 80 per cent of the cost of the mechanical upgrades needed for Flicka to take over the site when the new Harry Jerome Community Recreation Centre opens in 2025. The city will cover the remaining cost.

When the work is done, the building’s main entrance will be moved to the east side so it faces the street access roundabout and lawn bowling greens. The building’s roof will be replaced and mechanical systems modernized. The windows and insulation will be brought up to today’s standards and the building envelope will be made more energy efficient. It will also have accessibility improvements, with ramps and renovations to the washrooms.

The building will still run on a high-efficiency natural gas boiler but the amount of energy consumed and carbon emitted should drop by about a third, Wilkinson said.

“This revitalization will modernize the centre for gymnastics training in the community, from toddlers learning somersaults to Olympic athletes with big dreams,” he said, noting his daughter was among Flicka’s members when she was young.

The club has vaulted six athletes to the Olympics and thousands more – mostly young girls – have benefited from the physical literacy they learned there, said Tyson Carvell, a member of Flicka’s board.

“We need to transition to Mickey McDougall and the facility desperately needs upgrades and so it will be significant to the community to keep our home in the urban core of the North Shore. It is extremely important,” he said, adding the club’s member were grateful for all the support they’ve had. “For the city to enable us to move into Mickey McDougall, that took a lot of work.”

Mayor Linda Buchanan, who also had four kids go through Flicka’s training, welcomed the funding and the improvements it would bring for the club and the community at large.

“This will enable the club to continue their legacy of raising and training future Olympians here on the North Shore. Gymnastics is a fundamental building block in a child's development and Flicka Gymnastics has long been an athletic pillar in the city, particularly for young girls,” she said. “We are incredibly proud to have them here in the city and appreciate their many contributions to sport and recreation for decades.”

brichter@nsnews.com
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