Most Vancouver community centers are in ‘poor’ condition, but repairs could take decades: report

A new City of Vancouver report found that more than half of the city’s community centers are in either “poor” or “very poor” condition.

The plan was approved at a meeting of the Vancouver Park Board on Monday evening. the city will attempt to renovate only 11 of the 24 sites over the next 20 years.; this means that some of those listed in “bad” condition will not be prioritized for decades.

But even that seems like an optimistic goal.

The City acknowledges in the report that “funding is unlikely to exist to renovate all of these facilities during this time period.”

The necessary repairs vary in nature, but among them are important seismic improvements.

“I see this, say, an earthquake,” Commissioner Tricia Barker said. “There’s a whole part of the city where we don’t have a community center that is at the seismic level that we would need.”

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This part of the city is the west side, which is not even featured in the top four properties that the city plans to prioritize.






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Kensington Community Center was ranked the most in need of work, followed by Renfrew, Hastings and Strathcona.

List of proposed Vancouver Community Centers in need of renovation.

City of Vancouver

The Vancouver Aquatic Center, whose façade partly collapsed last month, is not part of the plan, as the pools are categorized differently.

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The staff report also notes that roughly two-thirds of Vancouver’s community centers were built before 1990, and the average age of community centers in the city is 47 years.

The dire nature of the report and the inability of staff to answer commissioners’ questions, such as whether seismic upgrades were recently completed at any community centers, led to unusually tense exchanges between board members and staff at Monday’s meeting.

“So, in short,” said Commissioner Gwen Giesbrecht. “While there is a robust capital repair program, it is not actually being carried out as quickly or (in) as timely a manner as it should be in order to keep the buildings from being in poor or very poor condition.”






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However, the board approved the staff report and the community center renovation plan by a vote of five to two, with committee members Barker and John Kupar voting against.

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An amendment has also been added whereby the park board is asking the city council and the province for more funding flexibility in order to speed up the work.

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