Timms Centre design revealed

Acting City of Langley mayor Ted Schaffer and Councillor Gayle Martin unveil an artist
Acting City of Langley mayor Ted Schaffer and Councillor Gayle Martin unveil an artist's rendering of the new Timms Recreation Centre-City Hall complex during a ceremony held Thursday. Councillors Jack Arnold (far left) and Teri James, along with other members of council, staff and the design-build team were at City Hall to announce the project which is expected to be complete in December, 2015.
— image credit: Dan FERGUSON/Langley Times

It's been a project several years in the making, but on June 26, Langley City residents got their first look at plans for the new Timms Community Centre.

The design of the 35,000 square-foot, $14.3 million facility was unveiled in front of a full gallery in the City of Langley's council chambers on Thursday afternoon.

Created by Vancouver-based Hughes Condon Marler Architects, the plan calls for a range of dedicated recreation facilities, including a weight room, gymnasium and indoor walking/running track, as well as change rooms, a games room, multipurpose rooms, a community kitchen, coffee shop and a secure enclosed patio on the building's west side.

In addition to sports and recreation opportunities, the centre will offer a range of classes — from cooking to art — and child minding services as well as a number of youth-only activities.

Rather than use the former centre's existing footprint, designers have integrated the new structure with the existing City Hall — joining the two buildings with a long concourse — featuring main entrances at both ends —designed to offer good sight lines and plenty of natural light, explained architect Stuart Rothnie.

Large windows have been included in the gymnasium's design as well, to encourage participation and support community involvement, while the indoor track will overlook the gym from the building's second floor.

Although the amount of daylight that enters the gym can be controlled, the space is intended to be open — "not simply a black, dark box," said Rothnie.

The centre will be connected by foot and bike paths to Fraser Highway and 204 Street. New parking will be provided both underneath the building and at ground level.

"We feel very strongly this facility will provide the City with a vibrant pulsating heart," said Rothnie.

As a cost-saving measure, space will be taken from City Hall's existing library and converted into washrooms and offices, rather than make space for them in the new structure.

When the library was built 10 years ago, it was the only one serving the area, explained City CAO Francis Cheung. Now, with the Murial Arnason library open at the Township Civic Facility as well as libraries in Murrayville and Brookswood, the City's facility is somewhat under-utilized.

"The interconnected facility will serve as a community and a cultural hub," said acting City of Langley mayor Ted Schaffer, as the artist's rendering of the structure was unveiled.

"I can't express how happy I am."

Schaffer said that although plans for a new recreation centre have been underway for years, it was only last November that serious work began on the project.

"(Council) came together and said, 'Let's fish or cut bait.'"

Schaffer noted that the City is able to pay for the new Timms Centre with existing funds and, when the building is complete, the municipality will remain debt free.

Together with Hughes Condon Marler Architects,  Surrey-based D.G.S. Construction won the design-build contract.

They are expected to break ground in late August or early September and work is scheduled to be complete in December, 2015.

The project manager representing the City is Turnbull Construction Services Ltd.

Although opening day is still 18 months away, local user groups, who are currently based out of the former Legion building on Eastleigh Crescent, are eagerly awaiting the new facility.

In the crowd at Thursday's announcement was Ken Fisher, chair of the Langley Better Breathers group. He was joined at the unveiling by several fellow members.

The club members, the majority of whom live with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) have been active users of the Timms Centre for many years and were among several user groups brought in on the consultation process.

"Not only do we do exercising three times a week, we've used the community room once a month for 20 years," Fisher said.

Prior to the unveiling, Fisher said the group was most anxious to see what the new building will look like.

"I hope they have everything we need," he said. "We were talking at one time about a walking track. We'll take anything we can get our hands on."

"They've been promising it to us for four years now," he said. "We're really looking forward to it."

For more details about the new Timms Community Centre, click here.


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