Bonsor renos take step forward

People using Bonsor Recreation Centre could soon get an expanded facility without shovels ever having to hit the ground.

Burnaby city staff is looking to spend $1.3 million on a renovation of the busy Metrotown-area rec centre, a move that still requires approval from city council.

The proposal results from the Bonsor 55-plus Society moving into its new seniors centre next door on Bennett Street. That two-storey, 8,200-square-foot building was constructed by Polygon Development as a community amenity next to its Chancellor at Metrotown highrise condo project at Nelson Avenue.

Valued at $2.7 million, the structure was contributed in exchange for bonus density—the developer being allowed to build more density than is normally allowed under the site's zoning.

With the seniors centre gone, the city is planning to renovate the 3,300 square feet of space now left vacant on the upper floor of Bonsor.

The plan was designed after a public consultation process with existing Bonsor patrons, said a report to the finance and civic development committee.

It will include a 2,000-square-foot room with a sprung wood floor for dance programs, fitness classes and social events. That'll be joined by an 800-square-foot room with a sports floor for a spin-cycling studio similar to the one at Cameron rec centre. It will be enough room for 21 bikes and space for personal training sessions that are in high demand.

The project will include two 100-square-foot music studios for music lessons that will be a more efficient use of space. Currently they're often scheduled in rooms that are larger than necessary, the report said.

The renovated space will also create an area for people to gather while waiting for programs to start or finish.

The city estimates the added space will serve an additional 2,000 people per week, or about 100,000 per year, the report said.

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