Surrey council is rapidly forging ahead with some major community projects, the Newton Community Centre and Bear Creek Park Athletics Centre among them.
“We’re starting on a lot of big projects immediately,” Mayor Doug McCallum said. “We will continue to move extremely quick on all these projects.”
Council on Monday approved city staff’s recommendation that a $4,357,069.60 contract be awarded to TKA+D Architecture + Design Inc. and MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects Ltd. for the Newton Community Centre project.
In January, Surrey council decided to borrow $90 million for the community centre, which will be built on 7.24 acres, part of which embraces the former location of the Rona Store at 6965 King George Blvd. That store closed permanently on Jan. 26, 2020.
Design work for the Newton Community Centre is expected to begin this year with 18 to 20 months of construction beginning in late 2021.
Councillor Laurie Guerra said the Newton Community Centre and Bear Creek Park Athletics Centre are two of the largest of 16 community projects on the books in Surrey. “I think it’s fantastic to see the work getting done so quickly,” she said. “I know it’s not ever quick enough for you, Mayor McCallum.”
Councillor Linda Annis asked if there will be“continual” community consultation to ensure the city is building what Newton residents want.
City Manager Vincent Lalonde replied that once the project is defined and started, “after that we won’t necessarily consult on what we’re building but more consult on the programming and things like that.”
Councillor Mandeep Nagra said the timing is “perfect” for these projects. “As you all know that we all have witnessed the gunfires, the shootings, the killings of youth getting engaged in all those criminal activities in the last almost over two months now,” he said. “So this is the solution – build more sports facilities, get our youth busy in sports. So this is the answer to end all that. This is the one step towards ending it.”
Council also approved city staff’s recommendation to award Stantec Architecture Ltd. $838,265.34 for detailed design and construction services related to the Bear Creek Park Athletics Centre. Laurie Cavan, Surrey’s general manager of parks, recreation and culture noted in a corporate report that a “feasibility study” completed in March 2020 proposed a grandstand with permanent covered spectator seats for 2,220 with room for 1,000 temporary seats, new change rooms, public washrooms, concession, a track built to international standards, a replacement artificial turf and walking track, places for javelin, shot put and other track-and-field events, a plaza and a drop-off area.
Guerra said this project was promised during the 2018 civic election campaign. “I’m proud of the fact we’ve kept our word and we hope to have shovels in the ground in early 2022 on this project.”
Elford said there’s been a “huge demand” for a stadium in Surrey for a “long, long” time. “Looking forward to getting there and watching the events,” he said.
Council on Monday also awarded a $1,456,879.20 contract to Marathon Surfaces Inc. to reconstruct the track at the South Surrey Athletic Park.