The city is expecting quite a stir at Burnaby's new community centre in early June, because that's when its doors could officially open.
Due to weather delays, the community centre is now looking at an early June opening as opposed to spring, when all the equipment will be installed and everything will be set up, according to Dave Ellenwood, director of parks, recreation and cultural services.
Despite delaying the opening, the project is expected to come in under the $32 million budget, Ellenwood said. The city had originally budgeted $38 million, "but were pleased that it came in below that budget estimate when bids came in."
The total amount budgeted and approved for the project is $44 million, which includes the construction contract cost plus off-site engineering works, design fees, geotechnical analysis, furnishing, fixtures, equipment, contingency and other soft costs.
Ellenwood says he expects up to 2,500 visitors a day when it opens.
The centre is 90,000 square feet and has two entrances. The main entrance is on Edmonds Street, which will feature a public art piece, while the other faces Humphreys Avenue.
The main entrance feeds into the lobby, with a seniors' lounge, kitchen, active studio and first multi-purpose room directly on the left.
The active studio is 3,000 sq. ft. complete with a platform or stage and a storage room. It is mainly for the seniors' use, but can also be used by other groups for many different events or activities.
If it's used for a banquet, it can comfortably fit about 120 people, according to Tony Arcari, assistant project manager.
To the immediate right from the entrance is a children-centric zone that's meant to capture a community living room complete with a fireplace, which happens to sit next to an indoor playground space, a playcare and a multi-purpose room/preschool.
"We're going to develop Edmonds Park with a feature playground, but with living in Vancouver we get a fair amount of rain," Ellenwood said. "So this is an indoor playground that's going to be accessible to everyone for free."
The mural inside the playground space was done by artist Todd Polich, who has completed more than 30 murals in the Lower Mainland - including Burnaby.
"This is an area, you know, is socio-economically being raised," Ellenwood said. "It's developing. (There's) a lot of immigrant families, a lot of lower-income families and so we think this is a perfect component for the facility to have children come and play indoors and take advantage of all the community living space that we have here."
Next to the indoor playground is a playcare, which is not to be confused with a daycare because it's meant for parents to drop off their children for a short-term stay while the parents or caregivers are in the building.
Then the preschool, next to the playcare space, is complete with lower counters and toilets.
The other entrance facing Humphreys Avenue sits between the swimming pools, gym and youth lounge.
There is a main pool with six lanes 25 m. in length and the leisure pool has two lanes at 15 m. in length with warmer water. The leisure pool includes a shallow area with climbing play features for young kids.
There's also a whirl pool, hot tub, two large, twirling slides and a lazy river complete with a bubble bench, detonators, spray arches, a dumping bucket - and its current can be used for floating or water walking.
"We feel that it's cutting edge," Ellenwood said of the pool space. "I mean the lazy river is something we found to be a very popular component. It's going to draw a lot of people."
The main pool is larger than normal compared to other facilities in the Lower Mainland, Ellenwood said.
"You've got the total package," he added.
The pool space is complete with a steam room, sauna, men's, women's and family changing rooms, and easy access is provided for those who have mobility challenges with a water elevator into the swim tank, ramp with handrail into the whirlpool and zero-depth entry into the leisure pool.
"Adults will dominate the hot tub and kids will play in the leisure component," Ellenwood said. "It caters to multiple users."
Across from the pool is the gym, which can fit three volleyball courts, has large windows in the corner providing natural light and has direct access to the youth lounge.
"It should take a lot of pressure off of our existing dry-floor facilities," Ellenwood said.
The gym has a sprung wood floor that will help put an extra spring in athletes' jumps.
The second floor has a games room, a snooker room for seniors that will have four snooker tables inside, two multi-purpose rooms and two meeting rooms that can also serve as a space for music lessons.
The big spot on the second floor is allocated to the 7,000 sq.ft. cardio and weight room. The city recently approved a $347,189 contract for the room's equipment.
The second floor also has a space for staff offices. There will be 75 full-time equivalent positions to run the facility and 53 of them have yet to be filled, as of March 21.
Arcari said he anticipates the building will achieve a Silver LEEDS designation.
Sustainable features for the centre include white roofs, which will reflect heat away from the building and help reduce cooling costs in the summer; rain gardens and bioswales are used as treatment areas for water run-off from hard landscape and surface parking areas; and the use of an HVAC system, which will heat the pool water.
There are 118 underground parking stalls, 92 parking spots on Humphries Street and other spots in the area.
"We needed this for not only this community, but for the whole of Burnaby in general," Ellenwood said. "It'll draw a lot of people from Bonsor, it'll service demand already here, (and) we'll be able to service a lot more people then we were able to do before."
For more information, visit www.burnaby.ca.