Plans to expand Henderson recreation centre are moving forward, with hopes for construction to begin this fall.
Initial designs for the building were revealed to Oak Bay officials, including Mayor Nils Jensen, parks and rec commission liaison Coun. Tara Ney, parks and rec staff, and Oak Bay-Gordon Head MLA Ida Chong, last Wednesday (Aug. 15) at the rec centre.
The proposed designs will give the centre a new look, according to Karen Fedoruk, intern architect with Victoria-based CEI Architecture, the same company working with the municipality on the Oak Bay High school replacement project.
“(We’re) trying to make it fit in with the existing structure, but give the recreation centre a little bit of a new life and new identity,” Fedoruk, who is also project lead, said.
The 830 square-foot expansion will see improvements to the reception area, as well as an additional 530 square-feet in the fitness studio.
It will provide plenty of natural light and improve comfort for both patrons and staff, Fedoruk said.
The expanded gym will include a designated stretching area and more space for fitness programs.
Wood beams and columns will support the structure while also showing off the architecture of the building.
Windows in the gym will also be replaced with insulated, weather-tight panes to improve energy efficiency, said Gary Smith, architect with CEI Architecture.
“That’ll help update the building as they make improvements down the road, so that’ll help tie in what we’re doing now,” he said.
Two walls will also be knocked down in the muffin nook, creating a larger space for the multi-purpose room.
Other improvements to the building include updated washroom facilities and heating system.
The overall improvements to the rec centre will provide patrons with better and more effective service, Jensen said.
“I’m very pleased that we’re moving ahead and that we have a design and, I think, it’s going to meet the objectives that we’re trying to achieve there,” he said, noting accessibility and enhanced rehabilitation options for patrons as goals.
“I’m also very happy we’re going to be looking at energy efficiency. … All in all, it’s a very good design.”
Construction is slated to start this fall and will take approximately five months.
The rec centre will remain open during renovations, however, certain areas may be temporarily closed to the public.
The project, estimated to cost $469,300, is funded by the Ministry of community, sport and cultural development, and the municipality’s reserve funds.