An important meeting of the Vancouver Park Board will be held at its office in the West End on Monday, September 29, 2014. Anyone interested is encouraged to attend and speak, or write in advance to Commissioner(s).
The Park Board will be deciding on the allocation of $154.5 million worth of infrastructure spending proposed over the next four years. The meeting agenda includes a link to the 2015 – 2018 Final Capital Plan report, and further details are in the City Council report.
The Capital Plan is really about who will be winners and the losers in the upcoming round of infrastructure spending. How will the West End fare, especially having gone through the consultation process of the West End Community Plan. We encourage residents to review the information and share their comments with Park Board Commissioners.
Ironically, it was discovered in August 2014 that the City of Vancouver is entertaining proposals from developers to build a new Aquatic Centre at the north end of the Granville Bridge as part of a tower. This, presumably would mean demolition of the existing Vancouver Aquatic Centre, and the loss of this valuable facility in the West End. People may wish to quiz Park Board Commissioners on this point.
In the City’s report, the only apparent mention of the West End is excerpted below:
Capital Plan response to Phase 2 specific comments:
Renew community facilities in West End – West End Community Plan public benefits policy states that the Park Board should develop a long-term strategy with the Vancouver School Board, Vancouver Public Library and other partners to renew and expand the West End Community Centre, Joe Fortes Library, and King George Secondary School. It also states that the Park Board should explore opportunities to co-locate other community facilities, and to explore opportunities to rebuild or replace the Vancouver Aquatic Centre to service the local, city, and regional population. Funds have been allocated in the 2015-18 Plan to deal with capital maintenance items at the West End Community Centre.
But that is it. We did not conduct a detailed analysis of the documents, but did not yet discover any other concrete or major commitments to the West End. Please send firstname.lastname@example.org a message if you discover anything of importance.
For reference, here is an excerpt from the West End Community Plan, adopted in 2013. (Reference: http://vancouver.ca/home-property-development/west-end-community-plan.aspx)
Section 14.1 Recreation Facilities
The Vancouver Park Board operates and maintains a number of recreational facilities in the community, including the West End Community Centre, Aquatic Centre, and six parks. Barclay Manor offers important programming space for adults as well as the West End Seniors Network, who rely heavily on this place.
The West End Community Centre and Joe Fortes Library are the most well-used city facilities in the community. The community centre provides public recreation facilities, while ensuring financial and physical access to capacity-building and recreational opportunities. It is especially important for seniors and newcomers, yet its size restrictions means limited and underutilized community space (e.g. rooftop). Facility upgrades are required to better support the large number of users.
… While well-used, the aging Aquatic Centre requires building renewal to ensure better access for residents to enjoy safe recreation spaces.
Policies (West End Community Plan, page 87)
Improve and expand recreation facilities to support residents of all ages in a growing community.
14.1.1 Partner with Vancouver Park Board and Vancouver School Board to identify sites for increased and improved park and mini-park opportunities.
14.1.2 Ensure adequate, high quality, and neighbourhood-specific programs and services for children, families, and seniors, with continued connections to the West End Community Centre and Barclay Manor.
14.1.3 Explore opportunities to upgrade or renew the community centre and library.
14.1.4 Ensure that community facilities have strong transit connectivity and are adapted to consider the ease of mobility, location, and affordability for seniors.