SEAPARC weight room a step closer

The proposed $2-million project will see an addition to the SEAPARC complex, with approximately 5,000 square feet of additional space

A weight training and fitness room at the SEAPARC Leisure Complex is nudging closer to reality.

Coun. Bev Berger announced last week the project is in its preliminary planning stages and is awaiting a $500,000 federal grant to get started in 2017.

The proposed $2-million project will see an addition to the SEAPARC complex, with approximately 5,000 square feet of additional space, divided between 2,000 square feet of dedicated gym floor and around 2,400 square feet for multipurpose space, said SEAPARC manager Steve Knoke.

Knoke added the fitness room and activity rooms will be part of SEAPARC’s five-year strategic plan to improve the facility, which is the only public recreation facility in the Greater Victoria Region that lacks a weight room.

Still, Knoke pointed out that nothing is yet fixed, and that a long road still lies ahead before any shovel hits the gravel.

“There are no architectural drawings, there is no go-ahead on anything yet. For us to get construction on this, we need to have the funding secure,” he said. “We don’t have the funding secure yet, so right now we are waiting.”

Funding will be broken up into three sections.

SEAPARC has dedicated $750,000 to secure $500,000 from the federal government. If all goes to plan, SEAPARC will dedicate another $750,000 in 2018 towards the project’s completion.

“This will complete the package for our residents, and they’ll be able to come down and have an all-inclusive first-class facility,” said SEAPARC chair Mike Hicks. “We’re very optimistic we’ll get it, and if we get it, get ready to pump some iron.”

Hicks pointed out that even if the grant doesn’t go through, SEAPARC will continue with the project solo.

“We’ll either get the grant, or we’ll have enough requisition that we’ll take care of it ourselves,” he said, adding that the SEAPARC gets around $350,000 in requisition a year to go towards capital improvements.

Knoke said the community response to the idea has also been positive.

“We’re responding to our strategic plan, we’ve got good community input on it, it makes a lot of sense.”