District of Sparwood gateway banner. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)

Sparwood starts to envision new multi-purpose facility for district

The district is exploring options for a new facility in the district following community consultation

Sparwood is set to dream big when it comes to the multi-purpose indoor facility on the district’s wish-list.

At a Committee of the Whole meeting of the District of Sparwood, district staff had asked for guidance on how to proceed with putting out requests for proposals for initial concepts of a new multi-purpose facility, with councillors opting to direct staff to add indoor soccer, a facility kitchen and a space large enough for 600-800 attendees to the already large list of wanted features to be factored in to feasibility studies and designs.

The council set the budget roof of a potential facility at $30 million, with options to revise it downwards based on further feedback down the line.

Mayor David Wilks said that it was important to do things right at the start of the process, and leave room for future changes not only in the project but in community expectations and needs.

“We should never build for now – always build for 30 years (from now)” he said.

District staff had asked the council for guidance on what to define as the project scope for consultants that would be eventually engaged by the district to design and perfect what would eventually become a shovel-ready project – should the district ever decide to pull the trigger.

For now, besides the funding to engage consultants and request proposals, everything is spit-balling. District residents will have the final say.

“It’s imperative for the residents of Sparwood to know that this would go to a referendum,” said Wilks.

Community consultation and feedback through the district’s Recreational Master Plan (adopted earlier this year) had been leading the district towards an entirely new facility for the district to meet community desires for indoor space.

Under the Recreational Master Plan, a proposal had been put forward to re-purpose the curling rink at the Sparwood Rec Centre, but after community opposition, the option of a stand-alone new facility was the only option left on the table.

The study, when conducted indicated that a new standalone facility on a new plot of land would cost between $14.9 and $22 million.

According to the staff report, through consultation as part of the Recreational Master Plan, the community had expressed a desire for additional facilities including an indoor walking / running track, increased access to general recreation and sport space, arts and cultural space and community gathering space.

“Based on these results staff are recommending the initial design guidelines would encompass the inclusion of multipurpose gymnasiums (tw0), multi-purpose rooms (up to three), running / walking track, (and the) facility to be designed to be converted into an event space,” reads the report, with councillors adding their above suggestions at the meeting on Tuesday Mar. 2.

“It is the intent of Staff to issue a request for proposal to engage a consultant with expertise in community engagement, facility design, and costing to develop a conceptual design for a new, stand alone, multipurpose facility.”

The consultants would also be tasked with identifying the best location for the new facility on district land.

Community consultation would be pursued after some initial renderings of a possible multi-purpose facility were created, and at other stages throughout the process.

Mayor Wilks has long insisted that given the high cost of a new standalone facility, the question of community consultation and involvement in it’s development and possible construction would include a referendum following the next local government election.

“The District of Sparwood only has so much borrowing capacity, and we don’t want to get into a predicament where we borrow as much as we can on this project, and then an emergency comes up where we do need money, and we’re in no position to do anything,” he said in November last year.

“So I think the referendum question would probably go down the lines of ‘what are you willing to accept as a tax increase to fulfill the obligations of a multiplex’, and then that would give us some idea.”

READ MORE: Sparwood adopts recreation master plan

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Municipal Government

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

People are shown at a COVID-19 vaccination site in Montreal, Sunday, April 18, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
211 new COVID-19 cases in Interior Health over the weekend

Currently, there are 875 active cases of the virus in the region

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. As of April 19, more than 230,000 doses have been administered across the Interior Health region. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
More than 230K doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered across Interior Health

A total of 220,216 first doses and 13,775 second doses have been given to residents across the B.C. Interior

Staff and residents from RMV show their appreciation for the volunteers who enrich their lives. From left to right: Shelley Moulton, Darlene Hutchinson, Betty Schanni, Mark Hudock, Victor Myette, Elinor Siska, Melissa Roger, Anita Braconnier. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
‘We can’t wait for you to come back’: Rocky Mountain Village residents show appreciation for volunteers

Volunteers can’t make in-person visits, but that hasn’t stopped them staying in touch

Members of the community garden hosted their first seed swap and fundraiser at the Greenwood Mall in Sparwood on Monday. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Sparwood Community Garden hosts first seed swap

Work on the garden at Engelmann Spruce Drive will begin soon

Crews and volunteers responded to a four-hectare wildfire on the lower half of the Aqam community lands near Cranbrook on Friday afternoon. Trevor Crawley photo.
Wildfire season gets early start in the East Kootenay

Fire crews, volunteers respond to two local wildfires, while prescribed burns turn weekend skies smoky

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

Abbotsford nurse at ‘breaking point’ pleads with public to take COVID-19 seriously

Instagram post urges general population to stay home, wear a mask and get vaccinated

A native-to-B.C. wild queen bee (bombus melanopygus for those in the know) feeds on a periwinkle flower. (Submitted/Sarah Johnson, Native Bee Society of BC)
B.C.’s wild bees need messy gardens to survive

The year-long nesting period makes habitat a primary concern for wild bees

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE – Health-care workers wave to people clapping and yelling thank you to the frontline workers during the 7 p.m.-tribute outside the Lions Gate Hospital in North Vancouver, B.C. Wednesday, April 8, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. nurses issue plea for all to follow health orders as hospitalizations spike

Nurses worried about strain COVID-19 is having on hospital capacity, care

University of Victoria rowing coach Barney Williams is photographed in the stands during the Greater Victoria Invitational at CARSA Performance Gym at the University of Victoria in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, November 29, 2019. The University of Victoria says Williams has resigned effective immediately. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
University of Victoria women’s rowing coach resigns by mutual agreement

Lawsuit filed last summer accused Barney Williams of verbal abuse

Former B.C. premier Christy Clark. (Black Press Media files)
Former B.C. premier to testify at money laundering hearing today

Attorney General David Eby has been added to the witness list as well

Selina Robinson is shown in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday November 17, 2017. British Columbia’s finance minister says her professional training as a family therapist helped her develop the New Democrat government’s first budget during the COVID-19 pandemic, which she will table Tuesday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. to table budget that’s expected to deal with COVID-19 pandemic and beyond

Robinson released a fiscal update last December that said the impact of the pandemic on B.C.’s economy was uncertain

Most Read