It’s fun to train at the YMCA – but sometimes the city offers a better deal.
Swimmers and gym-goers at the new YMCA in Burquitlam will have the option to pay either city or YMCA rates when the facility opens early next year.
It’s a unique user agreement, but one that was important to the City of Coquitlam while negotiating the facility’s contract.
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“We wanted Coquitlam residents to have choice and a range of access options available at this facility,” said Jennifer Keefe, director of community recreation. “While we believe that there are significant benefits and expanded services available at the YMCA that would merit someone buying a YMCA membership, it was important to also ensure that residents could have similar access to what is available at other city facilities.”
When the new Bettie Allard YMCA fully opens — which is set for January 2023 — Coquitlam residents will be able to pay the city’s drop-in rate to use the pool and fitness areas, but only for 30 and 13 hours per week respectively.
The city’s hours at the facility haven’t yet been finalized, but a YMCA representative said they would include some peak hours.
Outside of the city’s hours, residents will still have access to the facility, they’ll just be paying the YMCA’s drop-in rates, or using their membership.
A YMCA drop-in rate, which lasts all day, costs $15 for an adult. The city’s adult drop-in rate is $6.52.
The facility is set to be open for 16.5 hours on weekdays (5:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.) and 14 hours on weekends (7 a.m. to 9 p.m.) and will only be closed Christmas day.
A space for community and recreation
The entire 55,000 square foot facility is set to have an indoor pool, gym, fitness studios, multi-purpose space, childcare, a family development centre and more.
Among the planned services are public swim times, swimming lessons, programs that run the gamut from child development, sports and recreation, arts and culture to wellness and family and senior activities. Day camps and childcare are also being touted.
“This is more than just a building,” said Coun. Dennis Marsden. “It is about community. It is at the centre of the Burquitlam community and will truly be the — while not the geographical centre of our city—will certainly be a major hub going forward.”
The Bettie Allard YMCA will also be home to more than recreation facilities. A 3,700 square foot community policing station is set to replace the current Burquitlam Plaza office and a 222-stall underground parkade is set to have stalls for park-and-ride. An operator is still being chosen, so rates have not been set for parking.
Surrounding the new facility is 2.55 acres of new parkland, which includes a redesigned Burquitlam Park and expanded Cottonwood Park.
The development has been more than eight years in the making. It was initially announced in 2016 as a partnership between the City of Coquitlam, the YMCA of Greater Vancouver and Concert Properties.
The city provided $57-million in funding for construction, which came primarily from developer fees, it said. The YMCA contributed $38-million in capital funding and will be on the hook for the building’s operating costs.
A land exchange involving Concert Properties donating $700,000 for park improvements plus 2.55 acres to the City for a 2.1 acre portion of Burquitlam Park was also part of the deal.