The South Cariboo Rec. Centre is getting a much-needed facelift this month.
The Cariboo Regional District (CRD), in partnership with the rec centre, contracted Bree Contracting to resurface the parking lot. It’s a project that Trevor Embree, Bree Contracting owner, said he aims to see complete by Labour Day.
“We’re really excited about it and I think it’s going to look fantastic,” Embree said. “I think we have a really nice arena and I think it’s important to have the outside looking as good as the rest of it.”
Embree said his workers have stripped the old layer of asphalt from the parking lot and are now in the process of levelling the ground. In addition to the new coat of asphalt, he said they’re conducting subsurface repairs and upgrades to the existing drainage system.
They’re also relocating several of the parking lot’s lights with the help of Primal Electric. CRD community services manager Darron Campbell said this will add several new parking spaces and improve the lighting.
Campbell said the project, which has a budget of $500,000, was originally scheduled for 2023. However, the deteriorating condition of the parking lot combined with an increasing number of public complaints convinced the CRD to move the project up in its five-year capital plan.
“Part of that parking lot was 20 years old from when the arena was built but then the other part of it dates back to when the Stan Halcro Arena was in operation,” Campbell said. “About a third of that parking lot was well over 20 years old, so it was certainly due for a resurfacing and we made that a priority.”
He’s certain that once the project is complete it will be well appreciated by the community. Campbell said the design of the parking lot will expand and the muddy sections near the marsh will now be properly paved.
“It was just a mess. When the place was really busy for Wranglers games that spot often wasn’t available because it was so badly rutted and soft in the spring and early fall. That will be all covered now and paved properly.”
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Embree said the greatest challenge was finding ways to accommodate the various groups that make use of the rec centre and its parking lot. Bree does not work Fridays to avoid interfering with the South Cariboo Farmers Market and do their best to accommodate groups like the Cariboo Agility Team, who make regular use of the facilities.
“Everyone’s been really co-operative and I think that really helps us get the project done, so I’m really happy with the way that’s gone,” Embree said. “Everyone’s pulling in the same direction and it’s been a really good project.”
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