SEAPARC took another step towards its plan of expansion after applying for a $1.25-million grant from the Union of B.C. Municipalities.
Capital Regional District director Mike Hicks said SEAPARC applied for the grant last year, and is the only one in the running for it.
Should the grant get approved, SEAPARC would be able to start planning the $2.75-million project, as SEAPARC has already saved the rest of the money needed for the expansion.
The project will not start unless the application is approved.
“We don’t want to plan it too early, because you can’t really design something unless you know how much money you have,” Hicks said. “But if we get the grant we’re off to the races.”
In 2016, the plan came to a halt when the federal government rejected SEAPARC’s $50,000 grant request.
Both Hicks and Steve Knoke, manager of SEAPARC, are optimistic the UBCM application will get approved, but said they will keep looking for ways to find funding regardless.
Hicks added that if they do not get approved for the grant, they will probably have to reduce the size off the facility, and they will likely apply for the same grant again next year.
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Knoke said with less space constraints, the new facility will allow SEAPARC to offer more fitness services.
As of now, the expansion will be approximately 5,200 square feet in size, and divided in to two sections: a gym, which will have free weights and cardio equipment, and a multi-purpose room, which can be used for fitness programs.
“I think this is a great way for us to provide more health opportunities for people in Sooke, and it will be a great service,” Knoke said. “We are a small facility but we’ve got a lot to offer, and I think this will help attract people who maybe wouldn’t come to SEAPARC otherwise.”
Once construction on the project starts, it is expected to take about 18 months to complete. The expansion is planned to be added to the back of SEAPARC near the pool on the ground level.
Knoke said the goal for the project is to have it completed by 2019 0r 2020, and he does not expect SEAPARC will be closed during construction.