After 90 years of service, Blue Mountain Park is due for a refresh.
Coquitlam council recently discussed the pending plan to revamp the 19.9 acre park and to figure out what to do with the park’s wading pool, spray park and Scout Hall – all of which are well past their best-before date.
The state of Scout Hall was of particular concern for Coun. Craig Hodge.
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“We’ve been talking about this now for six years,” he said. “With every day that goes by the potential for a significant structural issue increases.”
However, any replacement would have to wait until council signs off on a master plan, which is slated to be ready for approval in winter 2023.
If possible, Hodge said he would prefer to advance a new Scout Hall ahead of the other park projects.
“We can’t go ahead and replace it until we know the whole park plan,” Hodge said. “I just think we need to move ahead with that as quickly as we can.”
State of the cenotaph
During community engagement, several community members supported moving the cenotaph to a more prominent location.
Coun. Trish Mandewo said she was somewhat reluctant to move the memorial from its current location.
“To me, I look at it as a destination. The people that are going there are going to reflect,” Mandewo said. “I don’t think we need to put it in a prominent place where we are saying, ‘Yeah, get more people into it.’ I think that takes away from the meaning that’s behind it.”
Mandewo emphasized the importance of working with the legion on any cenotaph plans.
The wading game
The wading pool cannot be saved as is, noted Mayor Richard Stewart.
“I’m hesitant to make a comment that would potentially attract liability,” Stewart said with a chuckle. “This pool isn’t how we would build a pool today.”
Many neighbours harbour strong feelings about the wading pool, according to Coun. Robert Mazzarolo.
“Let’s really think twice about removing it,” Mazzarolo said.
Both Mazzarolo and Hodge said they were frequently asked about the wading pool while on the campaign trail.
Some residents expressed concerns to the city that the wading pool is too small and closed too often.
In a pickleball court
Currently, Blue Mountain Park has one dedicated tennis court and two shared-use courts that require visitors to supply their own nets to facilitate pickleball play. The Tennis and Pickleball Services and Facilities Strategy recommends the addition of one tennis court.
Blue Mountain Park has one tennis court and two shared-use courts where pickleball players can set up their own nets.
The lack of dedicated pickleball courts creates conflicts with tennis players, according to a city survey.
While he favoured adding more tennis courts, Hodge said he was concerned about pickleball noise.
“I do remain concerned about continuing pickleball here,” he said.
By the numbers
There are about 15,000 Coquitlam residents who live within a 15-minute walk of Blue Mountain Park. Over the next 20 to 25 years, another 20,000 residents are set to move into the neighbourhood.
The city is set to pay as much as $1.2 million to formulate the Blue Mountain Park master plan. That money, which mainly comes from developers paying the city for extra density, could also provide: “initial seed funding for priority capital projects.”
Survey says . . .
Besides concerns about safety, lighting, and lack of covered picnic areas, many residents also called for new washrooms and the preservation of the baseball diamond.