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Board retains 'go or no go' call on Halfmoon Bay hall

Updates on the Halfmoon Bay community hall project in Connor Park will go to the Sunshine Coast Regional District Board, with that body able to adjust locations or cancel the project intended to replace Coopers Green hall.
File Photo: SCRD's Field Road Location.

It’s not a done deal yet.

Updates for the Halfmoon Bay community hall project in Connor Park will go to the Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) Board as staff’s planning work progresses. The elected body will be able to adjust project plans, from design tweak suggestions to another location change or cancelling the project to replace Coopers Green hall.

At the April 6 board meeting, the directors added the reporting requirement to the March 23 motion that changed the new hall’s intended home to Connor from Coopers Green Park. That decision followed receipt of reports on future tidal flooding risks at the original site and the consideration of the results of a public survey on location options.

Board can make changes

Board chairperson Leonard Lee pulled the earlier motion for reconsideration. He said there were concerns around the table as details about the design and siting of the new facility, adjusted project costing and the impacts of the project on the park and neighbourhood had not been finalized.

Expressing those uncertainties, Area E director Donna McMahon, stated “we [the board] are really not clear on the process going forward. Have we given approval and the next thing we do is cut the ribbon at the door? Or are we going to see a plan and approve that?”

Comparing the situation to an individual having a home built, she said, “I would expect to see a final design and to sign off on that…I am more than happy to scope out a hall at Connor Park, but I am not 100 per cent sure that is the answer.” She asked that there be another “go or no go” decision point for the board on the adjusted project before proceeding to construction.

SCRD manager of community services Shelley Gagnon stated that although staff was ready to proceed with the $4.5 million budget and the location confirmed by the board, elected officials have the authority to provide further direction. She added that details about what was required in the facility had been provided from previous consultations with the community and in the agreement tied to the $2 million federal grant for the project.

In a report leading up to the March board decision on the Connor Park location, Gagnon detailed that $222,000 of the grant funds were spent on planning for the project at the initial site at Coopers Green. She noted that the plans prepared were not transferable to the new location. With more dollars needed on planning for a build at Connor, she cautioned the board that should the project not proceed those funds would need to be repaid.

The date for the first update report was not set.

Project name change pending

Gagnon also noted at the meeting that in discussions with representatives of the federal grant program regarding an extension on spending of those funds, staff had requested to rename the initiative. The ask is to go the Halfmoon Bay Community Hall project. Current documentation refers to it as the Coopers Green Hall Replacement project.