When the new Place Maillardville Community Centre opens this fall, a new operator will be at the helm.
The City of Coquitlam recently announced that it would be taking over operations of the facility when it opens. Société Place Maillardville Society, which has offered programming and services in the community for more than 20 years, was disappointed by the decision but will work with the City to ensure a smooth transition. The organization is housed in the current community centre, but won’t be moving into the new space as planned.
“The Society is excited by the pending delivery of the long-awaited new community centre facility and we join with area residents in looking forward to what the City of Coquitlam will be able to offer in terms of new and expanded programs for the benefit of the Maillardville neighbourhood,” said Société Place Maillardville Society president Bill Boons in an emailed statement. “While the society is disappointed with the decision by the City to take over operations, we remain optimistic and committed to continuing to operate and deliver valuable programs that the society has offered in this community for many years.”
Some programs have already been offered outside of the community centre and Boons said the organization expects to continue doing so.
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Boons said the organization would work with the city to ensure a “smooth transition” and so the neighbourhood would continue to receive the programs and services they’ve come to rely on from them.
The organization will continue to operate at the current facility until it’s torn down.
Neighbourhood’s needs changing
Maillardville is Coquitlam’s most-historic neighbourhood. It was established more than 100 years ago when French-Canadians came to work at Fraser Mills.
Today, more than 8,000 people call Maillardville home. And they have varied backgrounds. According to the most recent census data (2016), about 25 per cent of residents speak a language other than English at home. After English, the most common languages spoken at home are Mandarin, Korean, Tagalog and Cantonese.
The community continues to grow. There’s been a 7.3 per cent increase in population in the neighbourhood from 2016 to 2021. This growth is part of why the city wants to see expanded programming offered at the new community centre.
The new community centre
The future Place Maillardville Community Centre is set to double its floor plan, covering about 22,000 square feet. New spaces include a teaching kitchen, youth and seniors lounge, a kid-centric space, a gymnasium and a fitness studio space.
The gymnasium is the City’s only dedicated gym and according to a staff report to council, will host a “robust schedule of activities.”
Indoor-outdoor spaces feature into the design of the building. The second-floor kids’ space opens up to a covered outdoor roof-top space while the lower-level gym will also open up to a plaza outside. The design of the plaza is still in the works.
With the planned doubling of programming opportunities at the community centre, the City said it will take over operations from the Société Place De Maillardville Society.
“This transition will ensure that the facility achieves its full potential, while taking advantage of the City’s broad operational and administrative systems of excellence in providing public recreation,” stated a staff report to council.
The current community centre is the only one in Coquitlam not operated by the City. The shift in operation means that ONE PASS and Financial Assistance for Recreation programs available at other locations will also be offered at Place Maillardville.
With the new facility set to open later this year, the City is requesting programming suggestions from community members.
The City is asking residents to contribute their program offering ideas by survey. You can find it here.