Community Services open to working with gymnasts for new facility

A fire which gutted the North Peace Arena's gymnasium on July 18th, 2015. Photo by Chase Charney

FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – After receiving a letter from the North Peace Gymnastics Association about the possibility of a partnership with the city towards the construction of a new permanent facility for the gymnasts near the Pomeroy Sports Centre, the city says that it would be welcome to the idea, just not in the proposed location.

Fort St. John’s Community Services General Manager Wally Ferris spoke with Energeticcity.ca yesterday on the subject of the association’s letter. He said that the city is always warm to the idea of partnering with local groups towards improving recreation services and infrastructure. Ferris says that the NPGA actually approached the city a couple of years ago about the possibility of partnering to build a new multi-purpose facility, the difference being that this time the group also proposed a location.

While the city is willing to work with the group, Ferris says that any forward progress on the proposal won’t be able to occur until after the issue of the city’s insurance claim from last year’s North Peace Arena gymnasium fire is resolved. The city has worked with insurers on several structural assessments of the gymnasium, who have taken that information and put out tenders to various companies in order to get a quote for the repairs that need to be done. Once the city hears back from its insurer about the cost of replacing the gym, it would then look at either rebuilding, or building a new facility to replace the gym. Ferris added that various issues need to be looked at, including proposals from other potential users of a new facility, as well as the final version of the city’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan, which is due out later this fall.

On the topic of the proposed location on 94th Avenue, Ferris says that though a temporary facility could be feasible, a permanent facility isn’t due to the amoun of underlying utility infrastructure that would need to be moved.