The new Clayton Community Centre won’t be opening as planned this summer.
A report from the City of Surrey notes that a projected budget shortfall of between $37 to $42 million will prevent the City from opening a number of facilities, including the newly constructed community centre in Clayton.
“Staff are deferring the opening of Clayton Community Centre until the first quarter of 2021,” reads the report. “This facility will provide net new services to our residents and as such does not reduce current service levels. Furthermore, there is significant concern that given the COVID-19 pandemic there will be significantly reduced demand by the public for remainder of the year. In addition, staffing of the facility will result in hiring challenges given that some staff from other facilities are currently laid off.”
The report says delaying the opening of the more than $43 million facility by six to nine months – until the first quarter of 2021 – will save the City $2.5 million.
“We are aiming for June or July of this year!” a person from the City’s communications department wrote on Facebook in early March regarding when the new community centre was originally scheduled to open.
The report also notes that a number of civic facilities will remain closed, such as rinks, libraries, and other rec. centres.
None of this is setting well with Mike Bola, president of the Cloverdale Community Association (CCA).
Bola told the Cloverdale Reporter council needs to open the community centre on schedule.
“Why drag things out?” Bola asked. “Everything else is opening up as we enter phase two. Gyms are opening up. Why not the community centre?”
Bola said the CCA feels like Cloverdale’s being targeted.
“Why is it that they’re always going after small things? The ice rink was approved. We lost that. The money for that was already approved and it would have generated revenue. Now Clayton’s behind delayed. For what? To save $2.5 million on a $40 million facility?”
Bola said he’s frustrated rec. facilities aren’t opening while the SPD is still going ahead. He said if Mayor Doug McCallum thinks creating the SPD is important to tackle crime in the city, then he needs to understand that prevention and early intervention are just as important efforts towards marking the city safer.
“Keeping kids off the streets and giving them opportunities to stay active is important too,” Bola added. “I think mayor and council should delay the SPD. It’s not important enough right now. We have a police force. Make up the $42 million [current budget shortfall] and then continue on with the SPD after.”
The Clayton facility was built as a Passive House. Originating in Germany, Passive House is a unique way to construct a building that uses “super insulation” combined with a complex ventilation system to drastically reduce a building’s energy consumption.
Fresh air is continuously sucked into a building and stale air is continuously forced out. While the stale air is being forced out, it is used to heat the incoming air, which minimizes heat loss.
According to Passive House Canada, the low-energy buildings “consume up to 90 per cent less heating and cooling energy than conventional buildings.” This design includes being able to build houses without furnaces in cold climates.
The building was projected to cost $43.5 million — with Natural Resources Canada kicking in $1.3 million, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Green Municipal Fund gifting $175,000, and BC Hydro donating $30,000.
The first Passive House in Canada was constructed in Whistler for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Lost Lake PassivHaus was built to showcase the unique construction methods to the building community.
The Clayton Community Centre is located at 7155 187A Street in Cloverdale.