As the New Year rolled in, Bowen Island Municipal Council reaffirmed its commitment to the strategic priority of a Community Centre for Bowen Island.
Council had already appointed a project management company, Pivotal, to move the initiative forward. In a briefing note to Council in November, project manager Samule Collins presented an overview of the project and timeline.
The proposed civic building, based on analysis, research and work carried out by numerous committees and consultants over the years, includes community, recreational and performing arts spaces totaling approximately 9,000 square feet. Municipal offices, included to maximize operational and capital efficiencies, add another 5,400 square feet to the project. The public amenity, expected to cost approximately $10M, would be located on Area 3 of Lot 2 of municipal land (east of Bowen Island Community School).
“We are very excited to be moving forward on this dream of our community,” said Gary Ander, Councillor and Chair of the Steering Committee that was struck in December to oversee the project. A financial strategy to raise funds, drawing on reserves, tapping into infrastructure funding from the federal and provincial governments and exploring other options is under development. “We are confident that we can develop a strategy that is realistic and feasible for Bowen Island,” noted Ander. Council has developed a framework for decision making to ensure due diligence at each step of the project. The process also includes opportunities for public engagement.
In December, the Municipality issued a Request for Proposals for an architect to design the Community Centre. The competition, which closed January 17, has attracted strong interest. It is expected that the design development phase will take approximately two-and-half months. Construction could commence as early as one year later, with a new building opening in the summer of 2019.
“We've got a long way to go, and a number of challenges ahead,” said Ander. “But we believe that it’s about time that the Bowen Island community gets what it so urgently needs and desires.”
Christine Walker, Manager of Community Services
Bowen Island Municipality