Proposed Northside Community Recreation Centre Addition
With a $4.2 million grant on the table, our Northside community has an opportunity to expand this centre so that it can be a gathering place for all our friends, neighbours and families … and for just one-third of the true cost.
Thank you to the qathet Regional District (qRD) directors and staff for making this possible!
The qRD updates their project page for the NCRC Click here
Residents in Area A voted May 6 in favour of the qRD borrowing up to $1.1 million for this important community project and community centre.
Thank you to all who worked so hard to make this happen.
Our next Lund Community Society (LCS) meetings are Tuesday May 16 and Tuesday June 20 at 7pm.
There is no LCS meeting in July or August.
Results of the May 6 vote
284 YES and 171 NO, so the building and borrowing goes ahead
We'll provide further updates as they unfold.
Fabulous NEWS ~ we are delighted to announce three anonymous donation to this NCRC project totally $115,000, this reduces the mortgage borrowing from $1.1 Mil to $985,000, all donations reduce the amount we have to borrow.
Thank you to our generous neighbours.
We all get to contribute in our own way...
Latest results of the LCS Community Survey ~ 128 responses to date, March 20, 2023, view response summary This Survey is Now Closed.
What could a new community center mean to you?
Proposed NCRC addition, design not final (image from the feasibility study)
A community centre is an anchor for a neighbourhood, a place where young and old can come together to get support, trade ideas, be creative, move their bodies, and celebrate milestones. That’s why we’re excited about plans to upgrade and expand the Northside Community Recreation Centre (NCRC), which would serve all residents of Area A – children, youth, families, seniors.
… Yes, for you, too!
The qRD (qathet Regional District) has been awarded a $4.2 million grant specifically for the NCRC Addition to the existing facility in Lund/Klah-ah-men, the former Lund School at 9654 Larson Rd. To move forward, the qRD will need to contribute, borrowing just $1.1 million, a fraction of the estimated $6 million cost, which means we get a new centre for just one-third of the actual cost!
The new centre could include a commercial-grade kitchen, a stage/theatre, a half-court gymnasium, accessible washrooms and additional program spaces, as well as continue to host the Puddle Jumpers Preschool. It will also serve as a fully prepared emergency shelter for this area in the event of an earthquake, flood, other emergency or community disaster.
We need this now more than ever. The existing centre won’t last forever. With many residents growing older and young families settling down, residents are looking for more support and community services. Plus, nearly a quarter of Canadians report feeling lonely, which impacts both physical and mental health, making social connection a much-needed public health issue.
This is an opportunity we can’t let slip by. The Lund Community Society believes this is a much-needed facility to serve the current and future generations of our community.
Read on to learn more about the proposal, next steps and to share your own vision with us. What services, programs, activities, and resources would you like to see in the new centre?
Why are community recreation centres so important?
Community is the glue that keeps us together, in good times, bad times and everything in between. But without space to gather, we lose our ability to come together to enjoy life, welcome newcomers, solve communal challenges, and live healthy, vibrant lifestyles.
There is a strong body of research showing that community recreation centres are anchors in their communities. They offer valuable local information, strengthen families, support healthy living, and combat the loneliness epidemic by helping people make social connections and more. Elder Canadians and youth in particular have seen rising rates of loneliness and depression. Plus, such centres have been proven to reduce health care, social service and police/justice costs.
In a post-pandemic world, we no longer take for granted the importance of our health and our social connections. In the long run, community centres are a wise and multidimensional investment.
The NCRC could do all this and more in bringing qathet Northside residents together.
What is the proposed building design?
A new, fully accessible and multi-purpose building will be added to the existing NCRC facility. See the blueprints and renderings below.
The new building will add 6,920 square feet and will be connected to the existing facility via an entryway. While the floor plan for the new building is open to community consultation, the footprint (square footage and maximum budget) are fixed and final. The current proposal is for a half-court gym, a stage/theatre space, accessible washrooms, additional program spaces, a reception area and upgrades to the existing facility to include a commercial kitchen. No other upgrades to the existing facility are planned.
Many details will have to be finalized once all the financing is approved and in place. The exact location of the addition is subject to a site survey. Parking will be addressed at this site survey stage. The final building design may include some modifications based on community input and to make the architecture and aesthetics reflect our spirit and values. The qRD plans to undertake a community engagement process in 2023, which will give community members an opportunity for input on these and other important matters.
Construction must comply with the BC Building Code and current accessibility, seismic and environmental requirements. The qRD will manage the construction and will retain an experienced, qualified contractor for the work. The end result will be a sound building that can serve the community for many years!
What’s wrong and missing with the current space?
The existing NCRC building provides some valuable programming, but the major limitations are obvious: a maximum capacity of 85 people, non-accessible washrooms, lack of storage space, and no indoor recreation space, to name a few.
Recognizing these deficiencies, in 2019 the qRD commissioned a feasibility study to look at how the community centre could be expanded to better serve Area A Northside residents. The facilities set out above are a result of that study.
What activities currently take place at the NCRC?
At present, the existing NCRC building (former Lund School) is used regularly for the Puddle Jumpers Preschool, as well as a part-time daycare, lactation and infant/toddler playgroups, tai chi, yoga, and TechTips sessions provided by Lift Community Services. Various community organization meetings, potluck dinners and bike tune-ups/workshops, and more happen from time to time.
Imagine the future uses of the new addition?
With the year-round access to the indoor stage, half-court gymnasium, and expanded program space, the addition could support a wide variety of social, cultural and recreational activities.
This includes not only the current activities mentioned above but also dances, fitness classes, films, plays, concerts, sports games and recreational leagues, guest speakers, workshops, community gatherings, weddings, board/bridge game nights, and more.
Importantly, the addition would serve as a gathering point in the event of an emergency or disaster.
Be sure to let us know what you see...
What activities will the kitchen upgrade support?
The kitchen upgrades will transform the current kitchen into a commercial-grade kitchen that can support many local food small businesses as well as community use. This includes:
preserving more crops harvested by local growers;
food sharing, security and sovereignty programs; and
events such as pot-locks, cooking classes pasta nights, weddings and other celebrations.
Who will manage this space?
The Lund Community Society (LCS) will continue to manage the building operations under a lease agreement with the qRD. The LCS is a registered charity governed by a board of Northside residents. As is currently the case, the LCS, local groups, businesses, and community members can continue to use the space to offer programs, events and activities of their own.
How will this project be financed?
This is a maximum $6 million project — and a joint effort by all levels of government in cooperation with our community.
The $4.2 million grant comes from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. This will cover 70% of the maximum project costs.
An additional $740,000 comes from existing qRD funds (the Northside Recreation Reserve Fund).
Up to $1.1 million will be borrowed by the qRD, subject to approval by Northside service electors.
It's important to note that the grant is specifically for this addition to the existing NCRC facility.
If this project doesn’t go ahead, the funds cannot be used for other projects in the community. They will be forfeited to benefit another community in Canada or BC.
We have waited 30 years for this expansion; if we don't proceed this time, we'll wait many more years and pay a much larger cost.
The LCS Board & Building Committee invite you to support the project and join us as a community when it opens in two years.
Since the share paid by local taxpayers amounts to less than $2 million, we essentially get a new centre for only a third of the actual cost.
The $1.1 million borrowed by the qRD will be repaid by taxpayers in the Northside Recreation service area.
How much will the taxes be?
The annual debt payment for this borrowing will result in a tax increase to Northside Recreation service area properties of approximately $9 per $100,000 of assessed value on a residential parcel.
This amounts to $45 on a residential property assessed at $500,000, for example. If the building can be built for less, then both the grant and the borrowing could be reduced.
This tax is for capital costs; it doesn’t cover operating costs. That said, the qRD already requisitions funds to support the current NCRC facility and the LCS does not anticipate an substantial increase.
Initial programming will be determined once funding is approved, and will evolve over time, and is often funded by different grants supporting, culture, education, wellness, seniors, youth and families.
We understand that building public facilities in today’s economy is an expensive proposition … but we think this investment in our community’s future is well worth it! The community will gain great value for the dollars spent. While local taxes will increase, think of the grant as $4.2 million of our federal and provincial tax dollars being returned to us in order to make our community a more vibrant place to live.
Who is in the Northside Recreation service area?
The Northside Recreation service area includes all of qRD Area A from the City of Powell River boundary north of Wildwood to Toba Inlet except Savary Island. Tishosum (the Tla’amin village) and other Tla’amin Nation lands are also outside the service area.
What happens next?
In January 2023, the qRD will begin a community information and engagement process to seek elector input on borrowing the $1.1 million needed for the project. The goal is for a decision to be made by March so that preliminary project work can begin in April 2023, a condition of the $4.2 million grant.
The timeline beyond this becomes clearer once financing is approved.
There have been a number of community open houses over the past few years leading up the feasibility study and funding application.
In June 2022 we held a community discussion at our LCS AGM where a number of concerns were raised along with support for the project.
Our Facebook group page collects some feedback and we’ve created the survey link from this page for you to be heard.
The LCS outreach activity includes a flyer in mailboxes north of Wildwood that accept unaddressed mail and posters directing folks to this webpage for information and the survey link.
You can view current feedback through the Quick Links below.
How can I get involved?
There are lots of ways to get involved and we want to hear from you! We want the centre to serve as many interests as possible, and we’d love for you to actively support this project, which we know to be a vital hub for social connection.
Discussions with friends and neighbours is a good idea, especially if you know some folks who may not be aware of the project, as we’d like everyone in Area A to be informed.
How might you use the space, it’s a good idea to discuss the benefits as well as the costs.
Consider all ages, and family groups, as well as your own personal ideas, wants and needs.
Remember everyone has a slightly different point of view and opinions.
You could also help those not technically able or on less reliable internet connections. A flyer is available to download from the Quick Links below, to print or email. You'll also find some at Nancy’s Bakery and the Lund Store while they last.
This webpage will be updated regularly, so please do share with friends and neighbours, the LCS Board & New Building Committee encourage your support.
The most important thing you can do now is to fill out our survey to share your thoughts about what activities and resources you hope the new NCRC can bring to Northside residents. The survey is open-ended until the project design is finalized, but we will tabulate the results received by January 15th and post them on the website.
If you’d like to stay in the loop about the project,
May 6 Vote results on qRD website
Please Vote May 6 ~ LCS Poster
Please Vote May 6 ~ LCS Brochure/Flyer
Current Community Feedback on the Proposed NCRC Addition PDF ~ some recent Facebook comments and updated result of the survey as of March 20, 2023. The next update is due April 15, 2023
LCS New Building Flyer PDF ~ this flyer was distributed to mailboxes in Area A that accept unaddressed mail. It can be downloaded here for you to print/share.
LCS New Building Poster PDF ~ this poster has been placed on noticeboards throughout Area A. It can be downloaded here for you to print/share.
LCS Facebook Group Page ~ Chat & Comment
LCS Facebook Page ~ Follow for LCS Updates
Feasibility Study PDF ~ the full December 2019 study supporting the grant application which included details such as uses, floor plan, budget, renderings and site location considerations.
NCRC Current Uses PDF ~ a summary of current uses, past uses and current users hopes for expansion.
Highlights from the LCS AGM PDF ~ the new building discussion notes taken from the full AGM Minutes from June 2022
Lund Community Society AGM Minutes ~ the full AGM Minutes from June 2022, which include the new building discussion notes, and our full AGM notes with financial and committee reports.
qRD NCRC Project page ~ the NCRC new addition project page
qRD Approval Process ~ the Alternative process to approve financing
qRD Notice to Electors ~ for all Area A residents
qRD Proposed By-law Recomendation ~ report by staff Michelle Jones
qRD Area A Newsletter ~ Area A Director comments, July 2022, on the new building in his monthly news update
qRD Media Release ~ The April 2022 Funding Announcement.
qRD Park & Recreation page ~ NCRC facility under Other Recreation Services
qRD Community Evacuation Guide ~ Lund & Surrounding Area
qRD Alternative Process Questions & Comments ~ email your support & concerns along with questions about the NCRC Addition
Information provided by the Lund Community Society (LCS), the board and building committee is intended to be useful to community members in providing an informed decision. Any errors or omissions are purely accidental. Our webpage and committees are volunteer run, members of community being of service to the wider community.
Thank you for your contributions and comments. Please be respectful and kind.
The site and building are owned by the qathet qRD. Any legal or contractual concerns should be address to them directly.
We hope to be welcoming you to the opening of this new facility for all Northside Recreation Area A residents within the next two years.
The Lund Community Society
Current Board : Ronni U, John H, Charlie L, Sandy D, Alisha V, Judy H, Sherry W, Rosie O, Niki O, Martha A, Amber F.
Current New Building Committee : Ben B, Colin M, Carsten, Dillon W, Ed L, Kim B, Paul M, Pam B.
Outreach Team : Fran L, Paula R, Jesse F, John H, Tai U, Theo A, Kiran H.
Last Update : March 28, 2023