Think carefully about Port Coquitlam rec centre expansion

The Editor,

Re. “PoCo willing to pay for rec centre” (The Tri-City News, Feb. 19).

I applaud the efforts of the city of Port Coquitlam to reach out to its citizens and ask for their ideas about redeveloping the recreation centre and library but I’m concerned this project will turn into something much bigger and more expensive than we need or want.

The city’s fact sheet on this project states that “existing recreational facilities in this space are old and need to be replaced.”

The arena and Wilson Centre are 40 years old. That isn’t old for buildings like these, particularly since the ventilation system was recently updated in the arena.

As a parent of two hockey players, I strongly support the need for another sheet of ice so that we no longer have to rent ice from a private rink in Coquitlam. Having sat in many rinks throughout the Lower Mainland, I think ours is one of the best in terms of the ice quality and comfortable, well designed viewing areas. In addition, as a volunteer at Wilson Centre, I know we need larger and more versatile spaces for seniors’ programs.

I’d like to keep the existing facilities, including the arena and the library, and look at options for adding on to them or building additional facilities nearby. The finished project might not look like the newer facilities but it also won’t have the same price tag.

Coquitlam’s recent overhaul of its Poirier rec  facilities cost more than $50 million. Aren’t there other worthwhile priorities for our city funds such as maintaining or expanding programs like the youth drop-in at these sites?

I hope others will submit their ideas on the project. Input can be provided at www.portcoquitlam.ca/recplan or at interactive booths around the city.

Laura Dupont,

Port Coquitlam


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