New Burquitlam YMCA will open in January 2023, CEO tells Coquitlam council

The YMCA of Greater Vancouver plans a community celebration on Nov. 26 before it officially opens the Burquitlam Y in January 2023.

Just as the City of Coquitlam opened Place Maillardville Community Centre this week, it also heard plans about another recreation centre set to welcome residents early next year.

Monday (Sept. 26), Heidi Worthington, president and CEO of YMCA of Greater Vancouver, stood before council-in-committee to announce the Coquitlam Bettie Allard YMCA would be hosting a celebration on Nov. 26 to mark the end of construction at Burquitlam Plaza.

The 55,000 sq. ft. hub, expected to be operational by January 2023, will include:

  • aquatics (five-lane lap, leisure and hot pools)
  • change rooms
  • fitness area and gym
  • childminding
  • multipurpose space

and it will be open 364 days a year, between 12 and 18 hours a day, Worthington said.

Located a block east from the Burquitlam SkyTrain station, the facility will bring in about 800,000 visits annually for drop-ins, as well as swimming lessons and fitness programs.

The centre, Worthington said, is designed for “healthy living and creating that feeling of belonging”; it will be accessible and won’t turn customers away who can’t afford to pay.

And part of the deal with the city is that Coquitlam residents will have access to 30 hours per week of pool use plus 13 hours per week in the fitness centre, at equivalent city rates.

Once open, it will be the charity’s fifth YMCA rec centre in the Lower Mainland, she said.

Raul Allueva, Coquitlam’s deputy city manager, praised the YMCA team at Monday’s meeting — including Worthington, Roy Funk and Marvin Rogers — which has worked on the capital project for the past eight years in conjunction with Concert Properties’ development.

“This is an amazing project,” Allueva said. “I’m very proud to be involved in this project.”

Jennifer Keefe, Coquitlam’s director of community recreation and culture services, said the  partnership with the Y and Concert totals a $101-million investment, of which the municipality is paying $57 million — primarily from developers’ fees. It also includes a new 3,700 sq. ft. community police station and a park-and-ride facility for SkyTrain commuters.

The city will soon be selecting a park-and-ride operator, Keefe told council-in-committee.

The YMCA will run the Bettie Allard YMCA facility and co-own it 50–50 with Coquitlam.

Coun. Steve Kim also singled out Tracy Price, a senior manager at RBC Dominion Securities, for being the fundraising campaign lead, and he congratulated the Y for delivering a rec complex on budget and on time. “We are so used to seeing supply chain issues,” he said, referring to the recent tie-ups for capital projects.