Update on plans to upgrade the Victoria Road Recreation Centre

August 13, 2014


The Victoria Road Recreation Centre opened in 1975, and at that time, was the City’s largest and most comprehensive recreation facility.  Over its life span, the building infrastructure has aged, the design is no longer meeting community expectations for physical amenities, and current levels for accessibility are not being met.  In 2002, a feasibility study was done to do a comprehensive examination of the redevelopment potential of the facility.  At that time, it was identified on the capital budget forecast for renovation.  Extensive community consultation was done as part of that 2002 study.


Over the past year, the City has engaged an architectural firm to update the information contained in that study, assess current needs, and bring forward design proposals and costing estimates for the renovation of this facility.  Included as part of this current study has been an updating of our community consultation information – this was done in conjunction with our surveying for the South End Community Centre project, and resulted in over 500 surveys being received that addressed facility needs both at Victoria Road and in the south end.


As part of the 10 year capital budget that will be brought forward to Council in early 2015, will be the completed design and costing information for the Victoria Road Recreation Centre.  It is still expected that this full renovation work will be completed in 2016.


Conversations have been taking place with the Guelph Public Library, to investigate any potential options for including a library branch in a renovated Vic Road facility. The architects doing the design and costing for the facility will bring this forward as an option for consideration, and GPL staff will submit any potential capital costs and/or operating impacts as part of their budget submission.


As part of the capital budget process, a full business case will be brought forward including both the capital costs as well as any impact on the operating budget.  This business case will look at scenarios both with and without a library branch included.


Concurrently, staff are working on an allocations policy for recreation facilities.  This will be important to have in place in advance of the renovations to the Vic Road facility, in order to address any potential displacement of users and rental clients.  There are several logistical and booking challenges that need to be resolved before the facility is taken off-line during the construction period Staff are also looking at construction options that would minimize any necessary facility closures.


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About Karen Farbridge

An unwavering change maker seeking a just, democratic and sustainable world.

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