When youth yields to old age
It could become the home of an indoor-soccer or speed-skating facility. It could become an outdoor ice skating rink.
But, with more than a million dollars of upgrades needed, it appears likely the McArthur Island Youth Centre building will be coming down.
City of Kamloops parks, recreation and cultural services director Byron McCorkell said the building’s main tenants — the Boys and Girls Club and Kamloops Air Cadet Squadron 204 Black Maria — are moving to new locations, noting it makes more sense to spend the money that could have been used to upgrade the youth centre on other projects.
The Boys and Girls Club announced earlier this summer it is working with the city, School District 73 and the Kamloops YMCA-YWCA to build a new community centre in the former John Tod elementary building in North Kamloops.
The Air Cadets, meanwhile, are headed to a school in Westsyde, McCorkell said.
“There’s some gym rentals and I think a few seniors’ groups that use it [youth centre], but we’re building the indoor baseball facility now and there might be ways to accommodate them there or at John Tod or wherever,” he said.
“That’s all part of the planning process.”
City council has already agreed to put $95,000 originally budgeted for washroom upgrades and a wheelchair ramp at the youth centre toward the John Tod project.
Cash earmarked for a HVAC system at the youth centre in 2015 will also go to the new community centre.
“Investing our money there makes better use of the dollar than renovating a building that, right now, has no insulation in the walls,” McCorkell said.
It’s not the first time demolishing the building has been discussed.
When Kamloops first launched its Tournament Capital program, McCorkell said, the plan was to put a new building in the youth centre spot, possibly an indoor-soccer facility.
“It’s always been a potential option for us,” he said.
With the building set to be vacated, the city will again be looking at that plan.
According to the minutes of the city’s parks and recreation committee, at least two ice-based options are also on the list of potential future uses.
McCorkell said a decision on the youth centre’s future won’t be made right away, as the building will be used by the Boys and Girls Club for at least another year, while John Tod undergoes about $1.5-million in renovations.
What would you like to see built?
More soccer fields? Another indoor ice rink? An outdoor ice rink? How about a city racquet club for squash and racquetball enthusiasts? What would you like to see rise on land now occupied by the McArthur Island Youth Centre?
Tell us by sending your thoughts to this email address.