A Port Moody councillor says the Kyle Centre community facility is a "tarp-cover eyesore" that’s in "dire" need of repair.
Coun. Steve Milani says revitalization of the centre is “long overdue” and the city needs to prioritize spending $2.5 million to bring it up to snuff and prepare it for a possible future expansion.
In a report to be presented to council on Tuesday (March 8), Milani said the facility "plays an integral role in the community," but its maintenance has fallen off the pace.
Among the problems cited in an assessment of the building’s exterior conducted in 2020 by JRS Engineering of Burnaby are:
- deteriorating and missing cedar siding insect damage and wood rot
- exposed building paper
- failing paint on window frames
- dried out and cracked rubber gaskets around window frames
- corroded doors
- deteriorating and leaking roof structures
- damaged cedar roof shingles
- failing skylights
- a storage room that is leaking and deteriorating so badly it’s been sectioned off as a safety hazard
The report also stated repairs to most of the problems would need to be done within one to three years, at a total cost more than 18 months ago of a little over $2.3 million.
Another report commissioned by the city in 2013 said Kyle Centre was in danger of "functional obsolescence" due to its deteriorating condition.
Milani said Kyle Centre, that was built in 1977, is a busy place and it will only get busier as more people move into the surrounding Moody Centre neighbourhood.
Most of its users are seniors, who attend Tai Chi and fitness sessions, take ukulele and ballroom dance classes, as well as gather to play bridge and table tennis or rehearse musical theatre. It’s also the base for the city’s Rock and Gem Club as well as the Seniors’ Snooker Club that was established in 1999.
Since last November, the centre has also been used as an emergency warming shelter to provide overnight accommodation to the homeless when the winter weather gets rough.
Operated by the Phoenix Society, the shelter has been opened for up to 20 guests on a record number of nights.
Milani said revitalizing the "once vibrant hub" will help "bring back a feeling of pride in this community asset, something that is long overdue."
He said fixing the building falls in step with the city’s goals for its climate action plan by reducing the amount of energy required to operate it, and its wood construction stores carbon rather than emits it. As well, demolishing it would likely send a lot of material to the landfill, making restoration "a far more environmentally friendly option."
Milani said continuing to neglect Kyle Centre "comes at a great cost to the social fabric of the community." He suggested the cost of repairs could be covered by money in the city’s density bonus reserve fund.
"This is exactly the type of project the reserve was set up to fund."
Almost two years ago, a local developer pitched an idea to council to rebuild Kyle Centre in exchange for more density at a 148-unit rental project he was proposing to build nearby.