By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: Feb. 4, 2012.
A cafe, a physio-therapy office, and a fitness centre are just some of the facilities you might find at the Brennan Park Recreation Centre a few years from now.
It’s a mere sliver of an ambitious reworking of parks, recreational facilities, and programs a newly-hired district consultant is proposing as part of a 2012 Parks and Recreational Master Plan.
The ‘highly anticipated’ Parks and Recreational Master plan moved forward as the council awarded the contract to LEES and Associates at a regular council meeting on Jan.17.
Lees and Associates are currently engaged in a long-range Outdoor Recreation Study for Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley Regional District.
For the Squamish master plan, the consultants hint at the possible expansion of the Brennan Park Recreational Centre, where most of the recreation programs are centred.
They find the multi-purpose space for indoor recreation limited and the gymnasium severely restricting the range of programming with its concrete floor.
A promising scenario, they say, could involve partnering with Quest and Capilano Universities, and with the school district , to incorporate expanded uses “beyond what is found at a “typical” recreation centre.”
Brennan Park Recreational Centre is just one piece of the puzzle, though.
There is more the consultants will do: Studying demand and supply for athletic fields and recreation facilities, planning new parks and open space and conservation lands into the existing parks system, and upgrading district facilities to meet changing demographics.
The projected budget is $70,000.
The consultant place one question at the core of the plan: How does the “Recreation Capital of Canada” brand translate into the District’s Parks and Recreation system?
It’s in that context, they will analyse if the recreation opportunities now meet needs of residents, tourists and other users.
For example, are there sufficient support facilities, especially on summer and shoulder season weekends, when Squamish hosts large mountain bike races, climbing and music festivals.
The consultants also call for partnerships with Squamish Nation, the province, and SLRD to smoothly extend the outdoor recreation beyond the boundaries of the district.
The district also has a unique opportunity to incorporate a variety of cultural elements into its parks, recreation and tourism system, they added.
The Parks and Recreation Plan is expected to be completed by Aug. 2012.
A Parks and Recreation Master Plan was created in 2002, but was never adopted by the council of the day.
The recommendations from the 2002 Parks and Recreation Master Plan will be reviewed and considered in the development of the 2012 Master Plan.