This is a decision for the whole community to make together. That is why I wanted Harry Jerome to be a referendum issue in this election. That is why we must restart our community engagement process.
The Harry Jerome Recreation Centre has almost reached the end of its normal life span and is badly in need of a major renovation or replacement.
A new recreation centre will:
· Last for at least 50 years, before a major renovation.
· Combine the activities from six older buildings into fewer more efficiently organized buildings.
· Save energy and use sustainable building materials and methods.
· Can be built while the old building continues to service the needs of the community.
· Increase the safety and security of both staff and our community users.
· Be eligible for senior government funding.
A renovated recreation centre will:
· Last for about 20 years.
· Use the present configuration of six buildings.
· Not meet our energy usage targets and will increase future energy bills.
· Cost 2/3 the price of a new recreation centre.
Additionally, the present building is not up to modern seismic standards. If Harry Jerome was a school, it would have been already closed as unsafe. We are being irresponsible by not acting quickly to replace this recreation centre. The buildings are also full of asbestos which makes it hard to renovate, very expensive.
This is too important a decision for Council to make without extensive public input.
We need a Harry Jerome we can all be proud of!