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Oak Bay eyes new site for tennis structure

Concerns over Bowker Creek could see the tennis venue moved at Oak Bay Recreation Centre.

With a target of 2013, Oak Bay must rally the options for replacement of the tennis bubble that boasts four courts.

Oak Bay council was already considering upgrades and replacement on site, and offered some ideas to the parks and recreation commission: replacing the bubble at the current site; replacing at an alternative site; replacement with a permanent structure on site; and replace with a permanent structure on another site.

“They’ve now asked for some information on trying to site it elsewhere on the property,” said Ray Herman, parks and recreation director.

“Now is an opportunity to explore options and determine what the most feasible options are and what they might cost.”

The commission asked for additional information to come to its September meeting looking at the potential for replacing and relocating the tennis facility.

Moving it would tie in with the Capital Regional District’s Bowker Creek 100-year plan to daylight the creek.

“If we were to go with a permanent building, then we need to relocate it,” said Monty Holding, chair of Oak Bay’s recreation commission.

That would be a major undertaking, he noted, and would need to take into account funding the building as well as future operations considerations such as staffing.

“The problem right now is if we’re going to go with a permanent structure … we need a little bit of time to figure out where it will go, how are we going to fund that?” he said. The tennis bubble is on a replacement schedule so funding for that is in place.

“If we’re going to go with a permanent building we’ve got to find that money,” Holding said. “What we’re discussing is (perhaps) replace the bubble again next year and begin work right away on where a permanent building would go and start to get financing in place.”

The recreation commission includes three active tennis players who are also gathering input from the instructors and other users.

“The best time to replace it is September because that’s when there’s probably the least amount of impact on tennis,” Holding said. That would help protect the tennis program which generates roughly $100,000 a year in profit.

 

The information will go to the recreation commission that meets in early September before it’s presented to council.

 

 

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