Port Moody council eyes improvements for Kyle Centre

Repairs are needed for aging recreation facility

A Port Moody recreation facility in a state of disrepair is getting some attention.

During a recent city council meeting, council voted to have staff look into envelope (exterior) repairs for the tarp-covered Kyle Centre.

The report and requests were brought forward by Coun. Steve Milani.

“You can literally walk over there and put your hand into the wall from outside,” he said. “We can’t let this happen. It’s one of our community assets. We can’t let it fall into a complete state of disrepair. It’s unacceptable.”

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Kyle Centre was built in 1977. As the second-largest recreation facility in Port Moody, it offers drop-in programming like Tai chi, bridge and table tennis. There’s also programs like senior musical theatre and dancing lessons.

The community centre is also home to two different clubs. The Port Moody Rock and Gem Club has been based in the building since 1978 while the Seniors’ Snooker Club has also called Kyle Centre home since 1999.

Tarps can be seen covering portions of Kyle Centre’s roof on March 24, 2022. Photo by Marissa Tiel

An engineering report prepared for the city from 2020 identified six items that required attention — three of them within a year.

A year has passed since the recommended deadline for the work. Among the recommended repairs are to demolish and rebuild a southwest storage room, remove and replace sections of the roof, remove and replace the skylights, remove and replace cedar wall cladding and add a new rain screen, and remove and replace metal window and door frames.

Discussions about Kyle Centre captured more than one hour of council’s time during their regular meeting on March 22.

Coun. Milani was proposing to fund the envelope repairs, and while the work is being done, to include a structural beam that could later be used to help construct an addition. That is, if council elects to do so in the future.

The neighbourhood is projected to get more populated and there’s already been a 450 per cent increase in the senior population of Port Moody since Kyle Centre was constructed. Projections suggest that senior population will increase by another 215 per cent over the next 20 years.

An addition could potentially double the available space.

A rendering depicts how an expansion could look at Kyle Centre. Courtesy Steve Milani

Complicating things somewhat is a motion that was released from the closed meeting that finished ahead of Tuesday evening’s regular meeting. Council voted to have staff draft a request for expression of interest in developing the entire Kyle Centre campus. The development would include affordable low and mid-rise housing as well as seniors’ housing. It may well also include a brand new Kyle Centre.

But the reality of a potential development is still many years away.

During discussions, Mayor Rob Vagramov encouraged council to support the envelope repairs and bring the facility up to city standards.

“The idea that oh yeah, we’re going to replace this thing so let’s not put the work and the money and the tax dollars into maintaining an asset, I don’t think is a tenable position,” he said. “Is the whole thing going to be tarps?”

Councillors Meghan Lahti and Diana Dilworth were concerned with the notion of an expansion, but were supportive of necessary repairs to keep the building operating.

Concern was also raised about how much the repairs would cost. The estimate from 2020 was $2.3-million, but based on other city project estimates this year, Coun. Zoë Royer thinks there is a good chance the work costs a lot more.

Staff have been directed to prepare a report for council with an updated cost.

Coun. Milani is “cautiously optimistic” that the repairs can be completed before the bad weather hits this winter, but the decision to move ahead with the work will ultimately have to come back to council for its approval.

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