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Sooke’s SEAPARC Arena and Pool Expansion/Renovation

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We’re lucky in Sooke to have such a nice facility for recreation as the SEAPARC (Sooke and Electoral Area Parks And Recreation Commission) arena and pool. The facility, located on Philips road just off Sooke Road is modern, clean, and a great value.

Since moving to Sooke almost 4 years ago, I’ve enjoyed the pool and arena, but must admit I’d use the facility more if it had a fitness facility. Currently there is a small aerobics room for drop-in and regular classes, but no weight room or cardio studio.

In 2008, the subject of expansion of the facility to include a weight room and aerobics facility came up, and after some public consultation some conceptual drawings (1,2,3,4) were done up and the plan was put forward. This week, I received a survey in the mail outlining some of the details of the project as well as the potential costs involved. It’s planned that two-thirds of the estimated $2.7 million cost of the expansion will be funded through various grants and federal and provincial money as well as other funding sources. That leaves about $1 million to come out of SEAPARC’s budget, which of course is funded by you and me, the taxpayer.

If the project goes ahead, there would be a corresponding increase in property taxes in the District of Sooke and the Juan de Fuca Electoral Area, which pay for SEAPARC. What does borrowing $1 million look like on your taxes? About $20 per year for an average home in Sooke and about $14 for an average home in JDF. Not much, really for such an important and exciting project.

The expansion would add a second storey viewing area and expand the existing arena dressing room and aerobics, in addition to the weight room and other fitness facilities.

By adding these new options at the SEAPARC recreation complex, we would also be adding the user base of the facility. There is only one similar gym in Sooke – Odyssey Fitness – and a second option would be great for our town. Plus, I’d love the ability to go for a hard workout and then take a dip in the pool or hot tub! If the user base increases then perhaps the increase in revenue could offset the tax increase someday.

Watch for the survey in the mail, or click here to download it, and then drop it off either at SEAPARC reception, Bill’s Store in East Sooke, Kemp Lake Store in Otter Point, or the Port Renfrew Community Centre. Or, simply scan and e-mail it to seaparc@crd.bc.ca.

It’s your town, your facility and your money – let SEAPARC know what you think!

Tim Ayres – Sooke Real Estate Professional

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