The regional district has chosen a design firm as part of its overhaul of Strathcona Gardens. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror

The regional district has chosen a design firm as part of its overhaul of Strathcona Gardens. Photo by Marc Kitteringham, Campbell River Mirror

SRD awards design contract for reworked Rec-reate project

Ice arenas not included to make grant funding more likely

The Strathcona Regional District is working to ensure all its ducks are in a row for the Strathcona Gardens REC-REATE project, and have awarded a contract for the detailed design of the project.

HCMA Architecture and Design has been awarded the $1.47 million contract, and will be for detailed architectural plans for the facility. Included will be the pool, wellness and rehabilitation space, weight room, administration and common spaces. The ice surfaces are not included in order to meet grant requirements. The SRD will pursue further funding for those areas when it comes available.

The contract is also to help refine cost estimates and construction schedules.

“As we move forward with the redevelopment of Strathcona Gardens, we are confident in the experience, leadership and ambition that HCMA will provide our community hub,” said Andy Adams, Chair of the Strathcona Gardens Commission. “With their expertise for designing aquatic facilities, we know that the future of the facility will be fostered by a team who are leaders in accessibility, exploring alternatives for improved sustainability and innovated opportunities.”

Funding for this project has been up in the air for years, as the regional district has applied for two grants, most recently the Canada Infrastructure Grant, which was denied in March 2020 because the grant was over-prescribed at the time. The regional district applied again for the 2021 version of the grant, which they are expecting to hear about this summer.

The design work will help ensure the project is shovel ready, which is one of the criteria for the Canada Infrastructure Grant.

HCMA did the high-concept design for the project back in 2018. That design will be expanded into a virtual reality version, which will give people the chance to see what the new facility as though they were really there.

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marc.kitteringham@campbellrivermirror.com

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