Tong Louie Family YMCA in the Panorama area of Surrey. (submitted photo: Trevor Meier/YMCA of Greater Vancouver)

New YMCA facility eyed in Surrey City Centre, with site ‘a first key step’

‘There are a bunch of people working really hard to make this happen,’ SCDC boss says

With the complete closure of North Surrey Recreation Centre set for the end of this year, and the building’s demolition to follow, a plan to build a new YMCA facility in Surrey’s city centre is gaining steam.

The YMCA of Greater Vancouver is in talks with the City of Surrey, Surrey City Development Corporation (SCDC) and SFU to construct “a modern community, health, fitness and recreation facility” in the area.

According to Kelly Walker Schobel, acting vice-president of marketing and communications for YMCA of Greater Vancouver, a new Surrey City Centre YMCA would include amenities similar to those offered at Tong Louie Family YMCA, located in Surrey’s Panorama area.

The parties involved aim to build “a centre of community that will benefit Surrey City Centre youth, families, adults and seniors,” she told the Now-Leader. “Every partner in this project is working in good faith to make this happen.”

A key element, she said, is securing a site for the facility.

“Right now it’s all coming down to where the site would be, specifically,” Walker Schobel explained.

“It’s too early to say it would be located there (on the current site of the rec centre), and as we’re exploring a partnership with SFU that would also become a factor, of course,” she added.

“It’s all really contingent on the site, and we’ve been working with the City of Surrey on that for a number of years. And once you have a site, everything else can happen, but the site is a first key step.”

Michael Heeney, president and CEO of SCDC, said “things are happening” on the YMCA project.

“We’re actively working on this, in sort of a facilitator role of bringing potential partners together to make it happen. I’m feeling somewhat optimistic it will happen,” Heeney said Thursday.

“I’m quite excited about this, and there’s a number of moving parts that have to come together, but the good news is, there are a bunch of people working really hard to make this happen,” he added. “Something could be announced more toward the end of the year, which would correspond with the decommissioning of the rec centre.”

SCDC, Surrey’s for-profit real estate development corporation, aims to “assist in realizing and advancing the transformation of the City of Surrey into a more modern, vibrant, sustainable and complete community.”

• RELATED STORY: Surrey development corporation hires former Bing Thom architect as CEO, from 2017.

In August, the city announced Dec. 22 as the date North Surrey Recreation Centre will close for good, after 54 years of operation on the site.

“North Surrey Recreation Centre will close in two phases,” says a “Facility Closure Notice” on the city’s website. “The North Surrey Arena will close and transition programming to the new North Surrey Sport and Ice Complex in early September, when the new arena opens.

“All other recreational programs at the North Surrey Recreation Centre will continue until fall programming ends on December 22, 2019. North Surrey Recreation Centre will then permanently close.”

Once the rec centre is closed, those who use the facility will be directed to programs and services within a four-kilometre radius of the site.

• RELATED STORY: The end is near for North Surrey rec centre, meaning programs will move to other facilities within 4km.

Walker Schobel said Y officials and partners “would love to figure out a site and proceed as soon as possible.

“But of course this is really complex,” she added. “We know the residents of Surrey there would really benefit from having a centre of community, specifically youth, families and seniors, so we really want to get into the city centre as soon as possible.”

Fundraising efforts to build Surrey City Centre YMCA are underway. Surrey Fire Fighters’ Charitable Society recently announced a $60,000 contribution to the project. “These funds bring us another step closer to fulfilling our pledge of $350,000, for the new Y being built in North Surrey,” the organization tweeted on Aug. 15.

Walker Schobel said that while plans for a new Surrey City Centre YMCA are yet to be determined, a typical YMCA includes a swimming pool, gymnasium, fitness studios, a lounge, multi-purpose rooms, steam rooms and more.

She said firm cost information is not yet available for the project, although the City of Surrey has promised $20 million in funding.

“I can confirm that the financial process is currently under review. We will be able to comment further on the costs and cost sharing when that information is available,” she added.

As for admission fees, it’s currently more expensive to use Tong Louie Family YMCA than North Surrey Recreation Centre. The rec centre’s adult drop-in rate is $7.25, or $73 for a month, compared to the Y’s adult “joining fee” of $50 plus biweekly dues of $29.99. The Y’s adult drop-in fee is $15.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Increased border enforcement curbs cross-line parties at Peace Arch State Park

Gatherings between U.S. and Canadian citizens ‘a daily carnival’ – resident

Transgender Surrey brothers debut fantasy novel as author duo Vincent Hunter

‘Transgender people are being misrepresented in popular fiction and media, and we aim to change that’

Rivers could rise rapidly as heavy rains hit Lower Mainland

Larger rivers to reach peak levels on Thursday or into Friday, according to high streamflow advisory

Two Surrey women win BC Sports Hall of Fame awards for inspired service

Jane Blaine and Wendy Pattenden recognized during virtual summit

Delta mayor launching anti-racism task force

Group to promote anti-racism, improve diversity at the City of Delta, increase community engagement

B.C. reports 91 new cases as officials remain worried over ‘clusters of COVID-19

There have now been a total of 8,395 cases in B.C. since the pandemic began

B.C. Green leader says NDP abandoning environmental plan

Horgan’s claim of unstable government false, Furstenau says

Horgan promises more child care at $10 per day during Maple Ridge visit

Liberals say the NDP has failed to deliver on daycare

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Mounties impound car of impaired driver celebrating birthday in North Vancouver

RCMP say the person was driving with their headlights off

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

UPDATE: Abbotsford high school killer back in court for ‘not criminally responsible’ hearing

Gabriel Klein was previously convicted of stabbing Letisha Reimer to death

Rainfall warning says significant showers forecast for entire region

Rain moving across Howe Sound, The Fraser Valley and northern parts of Metro Vancouver this morning.

‘Won’t be gathering for Thanksgiving:’ Trudeau says COVID-19 2nd wave underway

In all, COVID-19 has killed about 9,250 people in Canada

Most Read