The list of civic infrastructure promises for Cloverdale and Clayton is adding up.
Residents of Surrey’s fastest-growing neighbourhoods are promised a $40-million Clayton library, arts centre and recreation centre, a $10-million addition to the Surrey Museum, and a $30-million arena with two sheets of ice, says Mike Bola, president of the Cloverdale Community Association.
“We pushed for a new arena and more amenities for Clayton during the last election and have succeeded,” Bola said. “It’s great to see they’re keeping their word.”
The association, which works to provide a voice at city hall for Cloverdale and Clayton residents, has been a presence at the city’s finance committee, urging council to expedite local projects.
Bola said the CCA has long been lobbying for better recreational amenities, including the ice arena, which will replace the current one on 176 Street at 62 Avenue (Bill Reid Way) on the Cloverdale Fairgrounds, next to the Cloverdale Recreation Centre.
“Planning will be underway this year and we hope to get into the ground, if possible, by the end of this year,” with completion in 2019, Laurie Cavan, general manager of Parks, Recreation and Culture told a business crowd at Elements Casino last week, where Cloverdale Chamber of Commerce members heard more details about the city’s plans for the historic town centre.
“Anyone in the audience with young kids, maybe they’re looking a little sleepy because they’re getting up at 5 a.m. for practices with their kids,” Cavan said, adding the city is acting in response to community groups.
“We feel there’s a demand to enhance the facility.”
Also planned is a new, $2-million artificial turf field at Cloverdale Athletic Park.
“Anyone who drives past it, walks past it or stands there engaged in some sport in the park knows just how busy it is, and what an asset it is to the community,” Cavan said.
The investment plays into the city’s larger strategy to bid on big events and encourage tournaments to come to Surrey.
“People come to our city, they stay in our city, they come and spend money here,” she said. “That’s an important part of our council’s economic development strategy.”
On the cultural side of things, downtown Cloverdale will be welcoming a significant new addition to the Surrey Museum, which opened 10 years ago.
The extra space will mean the museum can double its exhibit space, permitting it to host national-and international-level exhibits, something the present building cannot do.
The addition will also double the children’s area, broadening the museum’s appeal in terms of repeat visits.
“We really want to be creating a very dynamic, family-oriented museum exhibition experience,” Cavan said. “So, when kids go there, they want to be looking forward to when they can go back.”
The Surrey Museum is also fostering partnerships with local stakeholders, such as the B.C. Vintage Truck Museum and the Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society, which built and runs Surrey’s Heritage Rail operations out of the replica 1910 Cloverdale Station.
“We know there’s already lots of talks underway to create a real tourism destination right in that hub of Cloverdale.”
The city is preparing for 300,000 new residents – or about 10,000 people a year – over the next 30 years, with 16,000 new residents to Clayton.
Cavan said the new Clayton library will be built on 72 Avenue, between the existing Clayton Heights Secondary and the new Clayton North Secondary School, with work commencing in late 2016 or early 2017.
Cavan also provided more details about Hazelgrove Park, which is nearing completion. Designed in consultation with residents, park amenities include soccer fields, tennis courts, washrooms and a spray park.
“So, a real community hub for all the residents that are going to be moving into that area.”
Also being worked on this year is 3.7-hectare Bose Forest Park, which is being created in the wake of new residential development on other portions of the heritage West Cloverdale property.
It’s also been designed with community input. Known for its large Douglas fir trees, it will include walking paths and boardwalks, along with parking and picnic areas.
“We’re really excited to be working on that park this year and hope to have it open to the public by the end of the year,” she said.
The Surrey Lawn Bowling Club’s facilities in Clayton Park will see natural greens replaced with artificial turf this year.