Strathcona Gardens users want better seating at arena and a third sheet of ice

The results of a survey asking residents what kind of improvements or additions they would like to see at Strathcona Gardens are in

The results of a survey asking residents what kind of improvements or additions they would like to see at Strathcona Gardens are in.

But the preliminary data shows only 11 per cent of the people approached to participate bothered to respond.

A random sample of 1,200 people from Area D and 1,200 from Campbell River – the two communities that use the recreation complex – were selected to receive a survey invitation and of those, 262 responded.

Among the respondents, 71 per cent said they used Strathcona Gardens in 2014 while 57 per cent reported using the Sportsplex, 42 per cent the Community Centre, and 11 per cent said they used the Campbell River Curling Club last year. A further 16 per cent said they didn’t use any indoor recreation facilities in 2014.

Of those who used Strathcona Gardens, 78 per cent said they used the pool, while 60 per cent said they used the arena and 34 per cent used the facility for special events or parties.

Twenty-one per cent reported using Strathcona Gardens’ fitness or rehab facilities.

Respondents were also asked to rank how important they feel improvements are to Strathcona Gardens.

Among Campbell River respondents, 80 per cent rated at least one improvement as important, while 16 per cent said no improvement was important and five per cent felt the facilities are fine as they are.

Sixty-three per cent of Area D residents surveyed rated at least one improvement as important, and 28 per cent rated no improvement as important and nine per cent said the facilities are fine as is.

According to the survey results there was a “marked difference between Campbell River and Area D residents.”

Area D residents did not rate any of the facility improvement choices higher than the mid-point scale whereas Campbell River respondents said several improvements were important to them.

These included: a teen centre, more space for programs, an improved fitness and wellness room, pool facelift, a multi-purpose room, a children’s play zone, hydro-therapy pool, better access within the facility for all mobility levels, and a new weight room.

Respondents from both Campbell River and Area D identified a need for better change rooms on the arena side of Strathcona Gardens as well as improved spectator seating at Rod Brind’Amour Arena, another sheet of ice, and dryland training areas.

As for the pool, survey respondents said they would like to see more lanes and a larger deck at the main pool, a bigger men’s change room, more family change rooms, more amenities at the pools, and more pool time.

The survey also found that people believe the weight room is inaccessible and that both the fitness studio and weight room are far too small.

While respondents were generally satisfied with the programs and instructors at the Gardens, a lack of off-ice and non-pool area space restricts events and programs in general.

The survey was part of a facility needs assessment that is currently reviewing and evaluating programs, services and facilities at Strathcona Gardens. The assessment is being carried out by GDH Consulting Services and will identify any improvements needed at Strathcona Gardens such as a possible expansion of Rod Brind’Amour Arena or the addition of a wellness centre.

A public open house, as part of the assessment, is scheduled for April 22 and the study is expected to be complete by May.