Expansion planned for Fraser rec center

An architectural rendering of the expanded gym area that the Fraser Valley Metropolitan Recreation District is fundraising to construct.
Fraser Valley Metropolitan Recreation District / Courtesy photo

The Fraser Valley Metropolitan Recreation District is eying a roughly 3,300 square foot expansion to the gym area at the Grand Park Recreation Center as the facility continues to see growing use.

Details of the project include adding a 1,700 square foot high-intensity interval training station and a 740 square foot group exercise class studio, as well as expanding the current weight training and equipment area by 850 square feet.

FVMRD Executive Director Scott Ledin said the expansion was identified in the rec district’s 2017 Master Plan as one of many projects for building on existing amenities.

“This project is something that we feel like we can potentially accomplish without needing to go to the taxpayers,” Ledin said. “The building was designed to allow for this expansion, so it’s not increasing the footprint of the building.”

Extra gym space will allow the rec district to address its increasing popularity and spread out crowds during peak times, such as the early morning and evening hours, before and after a typical work day, Ledin said.

Average daily visits have exceeded 400 people at the Grand Park Rec Center with annual visit counts around 150,000 people.

On top of more room, the plan is to offer an athletic performance testing consultation room, increase equipment options and grow the center’s ability to host local team training sessions for the Winter Park Competition Center and the National Sports Center for the Disabled.

“There are certain times when the space is well-loved and we get a lot of traffic … so this will help to disperse some of that patron load upstairs,” Ledin said. “The HIIT studio is an area that we see as an area for our local teams to access as well. They often come in as a group, which can be a little challenging for our regular patrons, so this would give them their own space.”

With the exception of any classes, the rec district also doesn’t need additional staff for the area, ensuring hiring challenges won’t impact the new amenities.

Though the project is one of the more financially feasible ideas from the master plan, it’s estimated that the work will cost around $2 million.

Ledin said the Fraser Valley Rec Foundation is working to fundraise at least a quarter of the total through donations and grants. Additionally, $1 from each daily pass sold since July for the rec center is allocated to the project.

So far, the community has already supported the idea with Ledin noting that three different donors have given $10,000 contributions.

“It has kickstarted the fundraising campaign,” Ledin said.

Other financing for the project will be discussed by the rec district board to help bolster fundraising efforts and ensure the expansion is paid for.

Even though progress on fundraising has been promising so far, Ledin said he believes it will take a few years to get all of the money needed to start construction.

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