In October, the Indoor Play Space Action Committee presented plans in October for an indoor play space for young children, with only one location in mind. If Council approved the use of the space, it would come up with a business case for the project.
However, Councillor Byron Stewart explains, the PSC just wouldn't work.
"To me it's quite evident that it is needed, but having the opportunity to go and walk through and see the space, it became very evident that that specific space wouldn't allow for any growth," adding, "That would just be a poor choice in putting it there, as it would be very short term if it was even usable, and I think that space could be better used."
As new bleachers will be installed soon, that space will be needed to remove them for events. In addition, changes would need to be made to the electrical and server rooms, as well as an extension to the sanitary main.
As there is an undeniable demand and need for a play space like this in Fort St. John, the Committee will now have to focus its efforts elsewhere. Unfortunately, as Mayor Lori Ackerman points out, there isn't a lot of room available in the city.
"We are so constrained with space, that right now there's really nothing to free up to get the height, and the windows, etc. Who knows? Maybe there's a corporate sponsor out there that has something that might be available for children to use while we look for a more permanent place."
As such, council realized the value of the space it has, and voted to reserve it for the City's use, to accommodate future events and not hinder future development plans. Council maintains that an indoor play space is still a priority for the community, but must now figure out where that can happen.