20 08 21 BICC Open House Slides Labels Removed.007.png

Frequently Asked Questions

1.1 Why do we need a Community Centre?

Bowen Island needs a place for residents of all ages to gather, access facilities and amenities, create health and wellness benefits, and enhance the experience of living on the island. The Community Centre will provide accessible community spaces for a variety of functions including space for performing arts, support growing recreational programs all housed under one roof, allow for expansion of community-based services, and provide infrastructure to the community for long-term recreational and cultural opportunities.

 

1.2 We already have similar facilities on the island. Why do we need this one?

The current facilities are often lacking in capacity, availability or adequate equipment to accommodate our island’s various and competing needs. They are also scattered around the island, which means that people have to travel, often inconveniently, between spaces to attend different activities. They are often inappropriate, or inadequately equipped for programming uses. Another issue is accessibility, which is imperative to ensure the entire population can participate in programs.

 

Everything under one roof will help us reduce our carbon footprint by reducing the need for travelling between venues to attend different activities and provide the opportunity for many people to walk or take public transit instead of drive.

 

The new Community Centre will provide a multi-use, purpose-built space, centrally located, to support many of the various activities we have going on around the island. This will create potential for year-round scheduling of diverse activities and events such as: celebrations of life, community feasts, weddings, movies, public assemblies, performances and increased recreational and cultural programming, which will benefit the entire island.

 

We will have access to a large indoor space during the day, which we are currently lacking on the Island, for activities where we will be able to increase our programs for preschoolers and seniors. Also, our performance-based activities and events will have access to a facility that is purpose-built which will allow us to bring more arts and culture opportunities to the Island and have the facility to accommodate them.

 

In addition, the facility will be owned by the Municipality. All of our current facilities where we run activities and events are rented spaces. As the need for program space, daycare space, and school capacity increases on the Island, our rented spaces may become unavailable in the future, thus further hampering our ability to schedule and deliver recreation, arts, and cultural services.

 

The Community Centre will be a welcoming place to gather, meet up with friends and neighbours, attend activities, host events, and access Municipal services. Having all of this happening in one place will increase our social connections and create a true “hub” for Bowen Island.

 

1.3 Why was this design chosen? How was the community consulted?

For more than a decade, committees, research, surveys, and reports have examined the needs of Bowen Islanders for assembly, performing arts, and recreation. Our current design for a Community Centre builds on the framework established by those past committees.

Over the past decade, through our engagements with members of the community, it has been strongly expressed that Bowen Island Municipality’s current, primarily rented facilities are lacking in capacity, availability, or adequate equipment to accommodate the community’s various needs. These services are also scattered around the island, which limits accessibility.

The design of the space is based on the current and future needs identified by Council leadership, the local project team and community members since 2016. Specifically, the community has expressed the need for a large indoor space during the day that could be used for expanding children and senior programs and hosting events (such as celebrations of life, community feasts, weddings, movies, public assemblies, performances). In addition, supporting Bowen Island’s performance-based activities and events is a priority for the Community Centre and will allow for more art and culture opportunities on the island. By bringing core facilities under one roof, the Community Centre will act as the island “hub” in order to strengthen the community’s social connections and support the future growth of Bowen Island.

 

1.4 What about the Health Centre and the BIRCH housing project? Will the Community Centre affect their progress?

Bowen Island is at a critical juncture with these three important community amenities, but they are not in competition. We are fortunate that there are distinct and diverse funding sources for all three. For example, BIRCH may be eligible for provincial funding through BC Housing, and the Health Centre has nearly reached its target through community fundraising.

Bowen Island Municipality is actively working with both projects to help them move forward, including selling a portion of the Community Lands to the Health Centre Foundation at a very good price, leasing a portion of those lands to BIRCH at virtually no cost, and providing grant funding to BIRCH.

The Community Centre is equally as important - all three will help build resiliency, community health and social well-being. We want to make sure all three of these amenities become a reality as part of a healthy future for our community.

 

1.5 Don't we already have Municipal offices?

Not that we own. The current Municipal Hall is a leased building, with rent paid to a private owner. To maximize operational and capital efficiencies, municipal offices have been included in the new Community Centre. BIM has obtained a long-term loan to pay for its own municipal offices instead of paying rent. The loan would provide needed capital to finance the building.

 

1.6 Is there a Business Plan available?

Yes, there is a draft Business Plan created in 2020 that is currently being updated. It details everything from background information, stakeholder alignment, environmental analysis, capital and operating budgets, programming to risk assessment. It includes a short-to-medium term projected budget, detailing revenues and expenses. 

 

1.7 Who designed the building?

Bowen Island Municipality hired Craig Burns of Principle Architecture,  working in partnership with local resident Drew Rose of Still Point Architecture. They have engaged with Municipal Council and staff, stakeholders, and the community to come up with a design that meets the community’s needs for multi-use spaces.

 

1.8 Will local contractors, construction companies and trades be involved?

Yes. In fact, local design, planning professionals and construction trades from Bowen Island are already working on the Community Centre. 

 

1.9 What will the Community Centre be named?

At the moment, the facility is being called the Bowen Island Community Centre. There is an opportunity for Naming Rights as per the Donor Recognition and Naming Policy.

 

1.10 What is the evidence of a need for a central gathering place?

For more than a decade, committees, research, surveys, and reports have examined the needs of Bowen Islanders for assembly, performing arts, and recreation. The design for this Community Centre builds on the framework established by those past committees. You can read the many reports and studies that have taken place over the years HERE.

Over the past decade, through our engagements with members of the community, it has been strongly expressed that Bowen Island Municipality’s current, primarily rented facilities are lacking in capacity, availability, or adequate equipment to accommodate the community’s various needs. These services are also scattered around the island, which limits accessibility.

 

1.11 Why not just purchase the current Municipal Hall building?

The current rented Municipal Hall is an older building with one-way access. It is not designed as a public civic facility and does not meet our current or future needs. The building itself is not accessible for people who have different mobility needs, and is up or down a steep hill from Snug Cove or Artisan Square. With Municipal Hall in the new Community Centre, our services will be accessible to all, including users of public transit.

 

Locating the Municipal offices in the Community Centre will make service more easily accessible to the community. The Community Centre will also require recreation, arts and culture staff, facility management, and administration to meet the community’s programming needs. Everything in one building maximizes efficiencies in service delivery, utility expenses, and accessibility. It also creates the opportunity for more community use spaces, as the meeting rooms adjacent to Municipal Hall will be available to rent when they aren’t needed by Council and staff.

 

2.1 How big is the Community Centre?

The building will be about 19,000 square feet, built on a lot size of about 1.5 acres. It will include community spaces of about  12,690 square feet and municipal offices of about  4,200 square feet.

 

2.2 What's in the building?

The building will include a number of multi-use community spaces:

 

  • Large multi-purpose/performing arts space with retractable seating, tech booth, and green rooms  

  • Small multi-purpose room

  • Fitness studio

  • Community living room

  • Gallery Lounge

  • Meeting rooms

  • Municipal offices


2.3 Where will it be located?

The Community Centre will be centrally located in the Cove beside the Bowen Island Community School grass field.

The access to the facility will be from Trunk Road right at the top of the hill near the current cross walk. The building will have access via both stairs and ramps to enable people with mobility aids. Parking will be along the existing grass field and at the far end or rear of the property away from Trunk Rd.

 

2.4 Does it include a performing arts space?

Yes. The large multi-purpose room includes a performing arts space that includes retractable seating with 180 seats, , green rooms and technical/storage space, specialty lighting, sound, and projection systems. This room will also serve as a large space where other types of programming can be used when the seats are retracted.

 

2.5 When will it be built and open?

We anticipate the Community Centre opening in 2023.

 

2.6 Who will own it?

Bowen Island Municipality will own and operate the Community Centre.

 

2.7 How many parking spaces will there be?

There will be 36 parking stalls next to the building, including one electric vehicle charging station, one wheelchair access spot, and one for parents with babies and toddlers. There will also be bike and scooter parking. This meets the requirements for parking spaces within the Land Use Bylaw. Additional parking is limited by the topography of the site.

 

There is additional parking available in current Snug Cove parking lots and down Mt. Gardner Rd. The BICS school parking lot is also available during the evenings for night time events. Outdoor lighting and pathways will be carefully considered to ensure access to and from parking areas is well lit. We anticipate that the centrally located Community Centre will encourage people to use alternate forms of transportation to get to it.

 

Once the Community Centre is open and in use, we will manage the parking by enforcing time limits and collaborating with user groups and partners such as BICS to make sure large events aren’t scheduled at the same time. We’ll look at ways to use the parking spaces with flexibility, like encouraging Municipal staff to use active transportation, carpooling or parking off site when some events are booked.

 

2.8 Will the Community Centre be a green building? Is it sustainable?

Our goal is to create a Community Centre that is sustainable, comfortable and cost-effective in order to provide the Bowen Island community with long-term benefits. To achieve this, the design team developed a range of sustainable design strategies - and used life cycle cost benefit as a consideration to determine how to best satisfy all three criteria. We are working towards making the Community Centre a modern and sustainable space by:

  • Optimizing the building program to ensure that spaces are multi-functional

  • Designing building form and architecture to ensure long term durability

  • Adopting the most current target for building performance, BC Step Code

 

Read more about sustainable design

 

2.9 Will the building be designed as a "post-disaster" facility?

No, not as defined by the BC Building Code. The Community Centre will be built to the “High” importance category rather than the “post disaster” importance category. High importance buildings may not be fully operational but will be safe to occupy and are intended to be used as shelters in the event of an emergency. The Bowen Island Emergency Management Program has other plans in place to run Emergency Operations if needed.

 

2.10 Why no swimming pool?

This amenity is not included within the framework of this project; however, if the community has the capacity in the future to build and pay for the operation and maintenance of a swimming pool, it could be considered.

 

We did some research into other municipalities that recently built new public pool facilities - we’ll use Williams Lake as an example. They built a 25 metre, 6 lane pool facility with a hot tub, sauna, change rooms, and wheelchair access ramp – pretty standard size and amenities in a public facility. A feasibility study worked out that costs to operate the pool would be $995,280 a year (2012 figures). The study also noted that 70% of pool operating costs are fixed and therefore are not dependent on number of users. The recovery rate (the operating revenue expressed as a percentage of operating costs) of typical public facilities in BC is about 31% with the municipalities subsidizing the rest of the operating budget.

Even if we built a slightly smaller pool than the Williams Lake project, it would double the cost of the Community Centre project we are currently working on, and increase the operating budget well beyond what the revenue from the pool would support.

 

2.11 What programs will be available?

The new space will become home to programming of community events and gatherings, recreation and arts programming, and performing arts. The community will benefit from having large indoor spaces that can be used any time of day and evening. The building will have multi-use spaces to accommodate all kinds of programming, from fitness and child-minding to painting and theatre.

 

2.12 Can my organization rent space for programming?

Yes. The multipurpose rooms and meeting rooms will be available for organizations to rent at times they are not otherwise programmed by regular user groups.

 

The Operations Plan for the new facility is currently being updated. Recreational programming, including arts programs, activity programs, and health and wellness programs, will be scheduled into each of the rooms in the facility on an ongoing basis. We are also committed to providing time in the spaces for community user groups to have access through rentals. Rental fees will be based on a cost recovery model.

 

2.13 Will there be a commercial kitchen?

No. The costs of building a commercial kitchen are beyond the projected budget for this project. There will be a small community kitchenette available for user groups.

 

2.14 Will there be trails leading to and from the school?

We are aiming to have trails for easy access.

 

2.15 Will there be room to expand the facility in the future if needed?

We recognize it is imperative that this building plan and design, as well as plans for the surrounding lands, will allow for future expansion of facilities. The Community Centre is sited on Community Lands Lot 2 which extend North beyond the current building and around the back of Bowen Island Community School. Expansion would require a commitment of further lands in order to further develop and provide expansion opportunities.

If there is a demonstrated need to expand beyond the footprint of the existing site, we would engage with the community to discuss how best the Community Lands could accommodate more community amenities.

 

2.16 How will the large Multi-Purpose Room be used?

Use of the large room will be prioritized for cultural and recreation programming and performance space. The space can also be rented for activities such as community pot luck dinners, gatherings, and club meetings. It will be available as a rental venue for special events like weddings, conferences, and retreats.

 

2.17 Will there be a gymnasium?

No. The large multi -purpose room will be used for some of the programs currently happening in the BICS gym such as Parent and tot programs, community events, and Preschool movement programs. As a result, increased gym time will become available at the Community School. Bowen Island Community Recreation will continue to use the BICS gym for sports programs.

 

2.18 Will the fitness centre compete with existing commercial businesses?

No. The community recreation services we provide are based on our mandate to deliver affordable and accessible recreation programming to the community. This mandate will not change when we move into the new Community Centre.

 

2.19 How will we ensure a high quality of acoustics in the performance space, Council Chambers and the fitness rooms?

An acoustic consultant has been engaged to ensure the quality of sound in the various rooms of the facility.

 

2.20 How will traffic be managed at the Community Centre?

A traffic management plan will assist with access points, parking, traffic flow, and accommodation of various modes of transportation to ensure the safety and ease of accessibility to all facility users.

 

2.21 Will there be a daycare in the Community Centre?

Dedicated daycare space was not identified as a need in the functional programming studies completed over the past decade.Bowen Island Community Recreation will move its Playcare program, a weekday morning drop-in childminding program for children 0-5 years old, into the small multi-purpose room in the new facility. Daycamps will also run out of the Community Centre.

 

2.22 What activities will be held in the Community Centre that are already being done at the school gym?

The Community Centre will hold large community events including concerts, theatrical performances, dances, weddings, and other celebrations. Soft recreational activities such as partner dancing, parent and tot programs, daycamps, drama programs, and performance-based activities will all be held in the new facility. The school gym will still be used for children’s and adult sports programs.

 

2.23 Where is the Teen Centre going to be?

The Teen Centre will remain at the Bowen Children’s Centre where it is currently. The Community Centre will provide additional space for teen specific programming.

 

2.24 Why is Municipal Hall in the Community Centre?

Locating the Municipal offices in the Community Centre will make our services more easily accessible to the community. The Community Centre will also require recreation, arts and culture staff, facility management, and administration to meet the community’s programming needs. Everything in one building maximizes efficiencies in service delivery, utility expenses, and accessibility. It also creates the opportunity for more community-use spaces, as the meeting rooms adjacent to Municipal Hall will be available to rent when they aren’t needed by Council and staff.

 

2.25 What kind of sound and video projection system is planned?

We have engaged professional video and audio consultants to consider the full spectrum of uses for all spaces, with specific attention to the Performing Arts & Community Space, to ensure the facility will meet the needs of users.

 

2.25 How do you plan to mitigate the sound of the mechanical room just below the performance space?

Consultants have been engaged to determine the technical requirements of ensuring that sound transference from the mechanical room is not an issue.

 

2.26 Is there load-in capacity for sets if someone wants to put on a live play?

The large multi-purpose space is designed and will be purpose-built for performing arts, including live theatre. While sets may be brought in for different performances, space is limited and will not be available for long-term storage.

 

2.27 Will there be a building attendant outside Municipal Hall operating hours?

A full-time facility coordinator will be the building attendant, and custodial services will have keys, etc, to allow access to user groups. Hours of the facility coordinator will depend on types of events and programming booked. Programming staff will work to ensure that programming/booking conflicts are minimized. However, after regular hours, user groups will have a contact number to call in case problems arise.

 

2.28 Will performing arts groups have to dismantle their sets to make room for day to day recreation activities?

​​No. The building, including the Performing Arts and Community space has been designed to be able to accommodate multiple uses. The design allows for certain areas to be divided so that different user needs can be met simultaneously. Programming of the space will play a large role in ensuring that conflicts between users do not arise. As well, arts and cultural activities have priority in the large multi-purpose room.

 

2.29 Recreation programming is typically planned well in advance, whereas performing arts groups may not plan ahead as far. How will priority for arts programming be balanced with recreation programming in the Large Multi-Purpose Room?

Arts groups, and theatrical and performance bookings tend to be scheduled well in advance of dates of presentation. To ensure accessibility, time and space for these types of activities will need to be booked in advance of other programming.

Regardless, a joint management committee will be established to ensure policies and procedures that provide flexible and equitable use of multi-use spaces in all programming areas. Bowen Island Community Recreation (BICR) and the Hearth will work collaboratively to ensure delivery of an array of arts, cultural, and recreational programming and that use of all spaces is maximized and meets the needs of the community.

 

2.30 Is the Community Centre connected to the Snug Cove Sewer system?

When it was determined that the Snug Cove Wastewater Treatment Plant has reached capacity in early 2022, the Community Centre project pivoted plans and designed a septic system for the building.

 

3.1 What will it cost to build the Community Centre?

The estimated cost to build the Community Centre is $18.7 million. 

 

3.2 Who will pay for it?

​​A range of funding sources will pay for the Community Centre, including private and public funding through donations and grants, community fundraising, cash reserves, and long-term borrowing.

 

3.3 Can we get grants to help pay for it?

Yes. Our application to the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program was successful, resulting in funding of $7.9 million from the Government of Canada and the Province of BC. Receiving this grant is a once in a lifetime opportunity to finally build the Community Centre.

 

Research indicates the Community Centre project would be eligible for grant funding from the Canada Cultural Spaces Program on top of the $7.9 million Investing in Canada Infrastructure grant, and an application will be submitted in 2022.

 

The Community Centre project is eligible for the application of $1.2 million of a COVID Relief grant received from the Provincial government in 2020.

 

3.4 What was the referendum for?

A referendum was held on September 12, 2020 to obtain approval to borrow $4.04 million. The question on the ballot was:

“Bowen Island Municipality has received a one-time grant of $7.9 million towards funding the Community Centre project through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program. Are you in favour of enacting Bowen Island Municipality Loan Authorization Bylaw No.477, 2019, which authorizes the Bowen Island Municipality to borrow a sum of up to $4,040,000 to complete the funding required to construct a community centre for Bowen Island?”

 

The referendum was successful with 64% of voters in favour of borrowing funds to build the Community Centre.

 

3.5 How will building the Community Centre affect my tax bill?

 

$4.04 million in long-term borrowing has been obtained through elector approval. $2 million of this is “tax neutral” because the loan payments are equal to what we currently spend in rent. The remaining $2 million will cost the average property around $50 / year in property taxes.

 

3.6 What exactly does "tax neutral" mean?

Tax neutral means your property taxes won't increase from the $2 million portion of the $4 million loan, because the loan payments are equal to what we currently spend in rent. A simple way to think of it is, we'll be paying a "mortgage" instead of rent.

 

The remaining $2 million of that loan will mean that the average property will see an increase in property taxes of about $50/year.

 

3.7 How much will it cost to operate, and how will that affect my taxes?

The Operating Budget and Business Plan are now available.

 

3.8 What revenues will the Community Centre bring in?

The multipurpose rooms and meeting rooms will be available for organizations to rent at times they are not otherwise programmed by regular user groups. Rental fees will be based on a cost recovery model. Rental rates have been established based on local and comparative communities’ current rates. A Fees and Charges policy will be developed. In addition to cost recovery, consideration will also be given to local vs non local renters, youth non profits, public vs private vs commercial events.

3.9 What happened when the construction bids came in over budget?

The project management team engaged with Golden Globe Construction Ltd. (the lowest bidder) in a value engineering process to identify infrastructure savings and cost reductions, while ensuring the building could still meet functional programming needs and energy performance as designed. Approximately $1 million in cost savings were identified through this process.

It is recognized that additional revenue sources and fundraising will be required to finance the updated budget for the Community Centre.

 

3.10 Does the budget include costs for special equipment in the theatre area?

Yes! The Performance Arts and Community Space (large multi-purpose room) has been designed with Acoustic, Lighting, and Theatre consultants. The budget currently reflects a fully equipped performance space with 180 retractable seats, draperies, sound and light systems, large projector and screen, and production control booth.

 

3.11 Are there funds set aside for contingency?

There is a budget of over $2 million for contingency.

 

3.12 What amount is being put aside annually for asset replacement?

A provision to ensure end of life replacement (capital renewal and replacement) will be addressed in the Municipality’s Asset Management Plan. It is best practice to contribute 1% of the capital cost of new assets annually to the reserve for capital renewal and replacement.

 

3.13 What extra staffing requirements are there?

Extra staffing has been considered and includes an additional part time Recreation Clerk, a full time Facility Manager, and full time custodial staff. Staff costs for these positions have been accounted for in the projected operating budget for the facility. Technicians may be required for performances on a contract basis. Wages will be accounted for in the rental revenues for these events.