Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre in Surrey. (Photo: surrey.ca)

Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre in Surrey. (Photo: surrey.ca)

New ‘Sports Complex’ in North Surrey pitched as $40M expansion of existing rec centre

But a former councillor says that money ‘won’t build what most people would consider a sports complex’

With North Surrey Recreation Centre shuttered and plans for a proposed YMCA facility scrapped, Surrey has turned its attention to creating a City Centre Sports Complex.

The $40.5-million facility would be part of an expanded Chuck Bailey Recreation Centre, at 13458 107A Ave., with “project engagement” and design expected to begin sometime this year.

The first phase of City Centre Sports Complex is among the most expensive capital projects mentioned in the city’s latest five-year capital plan, approved by city council in December.

“This facility will meet the growing recreation needs in the City Centre/North Surrey area,” a report to council notes. “Additional recreation amenities will consider all ages and abilities and will complement the existing facilities in the area. $0.5M in funding has also been allocated in 2024 for the design of a potential second phase of this project.”

The approved city budget included a general property tax increase of 2.9 per cent, and a 200-per-cent increase in the capital parcel tax, to $300, to pay for such community projects.

Chuck Bailey rec centre currently features a basketball gym, fitness studio, meeting rooms and other recreation/community spaces.

Marion O’Byrne, who discovered pickleball there six years ago, said the facility is too small for the area’s needs.

“North Surrey has less and less recreational opportunities with the pool closure, rinks moved down the hill to Bridgeview and only has Chuck Bailey recreation centre, an excellent but very small centre with limited programs,” O’Byrne wrote in a letter to Surrey’s mayor and council. “Yoga is often held in the computer room for lack of space.”

• RELATED STORY: Pickleball players are sour about the lack of courts in North Surrey as game’s popularity grows.

The 54-year-old North Surrey Recreation Centre closed for good in December 2019, three months after the three-rink North Surrey Sport & Ice Complex opened near Scott Road SkyTrain station.

Meantime, the city was involved in plans to build a Surrey City Centre YMCA in the area, but that project was declared dead last May in a joint statement by YMCA of Greater Vancouver, the City of Surrey and SFU. “Escalating construction costs” were to blame.

The project was to include a YMCA-SFU facility and high-density residential housing on the university’s Surrey property. “Since the project was first conceived by the YMCA and City of Surrey six years ago, costs have climbed to $75 million,” according to a news release at the time.

• READ MORE: ‘Escalating construction costs’ kill plan to build Surrey City Centre YMCA.

Former city councillor Bruce Hayne, ex-chair of the city’s parks and recreation committee, calls the collapse of the YMCA project plans “really unfortunate, because that was going to be a wonderful partnership with them.”

He said the funding of $40.5 million for the proposed City Centre Sports Complex “won’t build what most people would consider a sports complex.

“There will be no ice there, because that use has shifted to Scott Road, and a pool – the Y was going to build that, but you can’t build a pool in something for $40 million, you can’t,” Hayne said.

Among Surrey’s latest capital projects, the biggest-ticket item is the $90-million Newton Community Centre, planned as a 75,000-square-foot facility in the 6900-block of King George Boulevard.

• READ MORE: Surrey buying 16 properties in Newton for parkland, civic amenities.

Other top-dollar projects planned to get off the ground in 2021 include the $21-million Bear Creek Park Athletics Centre, and a $6-million track replacement and new artificial turf at South Surrey Athletic Park.

Also on the books, for work starting in 2022, is the $50-million Cloverdale Sport and Ice Complex, a twin-rink project “paused” during budget discussions in 2019, not long after Mayor Doug McCallum’s Safe Surrey Coalition took control of city council.

“Just looking at this (list of capital projects), there’s basically nothing past 2022 or maybe 2023, in terms of a vision for the city,” said Hayne, who is now the executive director of Boating BC Association. “The Cloverdale ice complex, that’s coming in at $50 million starting in 2022, and that was to be finished for $35 million in 2018, you know. And because that got canned, and with construction costs that continue to go up and up and up, that project would have been finished, and now it’s going to cost $50 million and probably won’t be done until 2024.”

Hayne noted that Surrey’s current vision is quite different than what is outlined in 2017’s Parks, Recreation & Culture Strategic Plan, an award-winning strategy created as a blueprint for determining such facility and service decisions through to 2027.

“There was a ton of work that went into that 10-year plan – so much time and effort, including staff time and volunteers, people in the community, and it was a pretty comprehensive plan,” Hayne said. “It didn’t satisfy everybody’s needs but it attempted to be as broad and supportive to all sorts of user groups, as many as possible. I think that (plan) is just collecting dust somewhere, because this current plan does not reflect at all what that parks and rec strategic plan looked like – and that includes not only rec centres and things like it, it’s green space and park space. The hard cost of putting a plan like that together may be relatively minimal, but it’s the human contribution – that’s huge.”



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Surrey

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fraser Health held a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Gurdwara Dukh Nivaran Sahib in Surrey, which would be in what the BCCDC refers to as the Panorama community, on Friday, May 7, 2021. Roughly 400 people pre-registered to get their vaccine the week before. (Photo: Lauren Collins
Surrey communities recording more COVID-19 cases also seeing lower vaccination rates

Those same communities were highlighted in the SPEAK survey, which highlighted disparities in the city

Twenty-nine staff members at Sunrise Poultry Processors Ltd. in Newton have tested positive for the virus, according to an information bulletin from Fraser Health Saturday (May 8). The health authority issued a 10-day closure order, effective May 7. (Image: Google Maps)
29 staff test positive for COVID-19 at Surrey poultry processing plant

Meantime, outbreak over at Surrey Memorial Hospital

The College of Massage Therapists of B.C. says Van (William) Dinh, a registered massage therapist in Surrey and Langley, has had his licence suspended while an inquiry committee panel investigates allegations of sexual misconduct. (Unsplash photo)
Surrey massage therapist suspended amid sexual misconduct investigation

CMTBC received complaint Van (William) Dinh allegedly exposed ‘sensitive areas of the patient’s body’

Hundreds gathered for a candlelight vigil Friday evening (May 7) to remember 29-year-old corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa, who was killed in last weekend’s brazen daylight shooting outside North Delta’s Scottsdale Centre mall. (James Smith photo)
Hundreds gather to remember victim of North Delta shooting

Corrections officer Bikramdeep Randhawa, 29, was killed in what police say was a targeted incident

TEASER PHOTO ONLY
Surrey woman a face of World Ovarian Cancer Day campaign in London, New York

‘It’s so important we find better treatments,’ Catherine Eiswerth says

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Police were on the scene of a fatal shooting in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. government to give more than $8 million for programs to curb gang violence

221 not-for-profit projects led by local governments and school districts among others will receive a one-time grant

Vancouver Giants earned a 6-2 victory over the visiting Kelowna Rockets Friday night, May 7, in Kamloops (Allen Douglas/special to Langley Advance Times)
VIDEO: Vancouver Giants down Kelowna Rockets 6-2

Two short-handed goals for Langley-based team

Most Read