$26.6 million renovation approved for Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex

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Photo by Qiao Liu

Waterloo council has approved the $26.6 million renovation of the Waterloo Memorial Recreation Complex.

The recreation centre is now going forward to the next phase of planning details for construction. The team has aimed to present the details of the plans to the council in February of 2019 and, pending approval, construction will begin spring of 2019.

Construction of the recreation complex will be a major renovation which will take around two years to complete. The re-opening of the recreation complex is estimated for the spring or summer of 2021.

Both adult recreation centres will remain open during the renovation of the WMRC and programs will be integrated after completion. Selling of these properties is being discussed by the city and council as a portion of the funding for the WMRC funding.

The next step for the renovation will be to look at the architectural and engineering issues and create blueprints that will guide the construction.

This construction project of the recreation complex includes large structural changes as well as new enhanced additions which reflect the diversity of community members who use the facility.

“Adding a gymnasium or activity court as we call it at the front of the building so at the east side of the building. And that would be for all kinds of sports as well as all kinds of community programs, dance classes, and  larger community gathering,” Beth Rajnovich, policy and performance analyst for the city of Waterloo, said.

The renovations include an addition of a two-story older adult recreation centre, which will hold programs for seniors. The second floor of this building hopes to hold a community room and an exercise studio.

“We’re also looking at doing renos to the existing banquet hall at the WRMC … and changing it from being a very big banquet hall to becoming two exercise studios for yoga, aerobics, Zumba et cetera,” Rajnovich said.

“[The area] would be surrounded by a walking track and then also space for people to hang out before classes to make the space usable for folks.”

Other proposed renovations for the building include a program room, kitchen, lounge and reception area, games and computer rooms and expanding the family change rooms in the swimplex.

“We have gymnasiums out here at Rim Park and they’re extremely well used and we’re quite confident that the gymnasium will provide for access to recreation in the community,” Rajnovich said.

The project is estimated to cost around $26.6 million for all three components of the renovation, this final price may be subject to a 20 per cent fluctuation, either lower or higher than the current estimate.

Both adult recreation centres will remain open during the renovation of the WMRC and programs will be integrated after completion. Selling of these properties is being discussed by the city and council as a portion of the funding for the WMRC funding.

“We think that the new set up with the senior centre is going to provide for a lot more intergenerational activity opportunities to engage with seniors,” Rajnovich said.

Accessibility will also be upgraded to ensure public safety with elevators and a pedestrian bridge from the adult recreation centre to the rest of the complex.

“The community can look forward to a lot of new opportunities,” Rajnovich said.

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