Steve Knoke, SEAPARC Manager, is excited about the impending fitness facility expansion at SEAPARC. (Tim Collins/ Sooke News Mirror)

SEAPARC fitness expansion still on track

New Sooke facility will open next fall

Sooke residents who have long wanted a public fitness facility are edging closer to getting their wishes realized as officials enter the planning stage for the expansion of the SEAPARC Leisure Complex

“This has been on the top of the list as far as our priorities go for years and now, thanks to the grant we received this spring, it’s going to become a reality,” said SEAPARC manager Steve Knoke.

Funding for the $2.74-million expansion was approved in July.

RELATED: Original announcement in July

The expansion will take place on the front section of the SEAPARC building and will encompass 5,150 square feet of space in which a fitness area and multipurpose room will be housed.

“We’re in the design phase right now, but will be going out for tenders soon with the intention of breaking ground in early spring with a completion date of about October,” Knoke said.

Knoke said most facilities like SEAPARC have a fitness facility included among the amenities of the complex and that the lack of fitness rooms has been a notable shortcoming of the SEAPARC experience.

“When it’s completed, we expect that we’ll attract a lot more people and that residents in Sooke will be able to get that much more active. I envision the facility being used by all ages,” he said.

“Beyond the standard exercise equipment and weights, the multipurpose room will allow us to offer programs like stretch classes, yoga and much more.”

Mike Hicks, the CRD director for the region, is excited about the facility improvement but struck a cautious note.

“We have to go out for tenders on the project, and we all know that construction costs have gone up considerably, so we have to realize that it may turn out that we have to wait a bit if the available funds come up short of what we want to do,” said Hicks.

“I hope we can go ahead, but it always pays to be a little cautious.”

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