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Late 2024 target for Halfmoon Bay Community Hall building start

Pre-design work, scheduled to be completed this August, to include land surveying, geotechnical explorations and an environmental site review aimed at minimizing project impacts on the park and neighbourhood as well as further discussions with the community.
Aerial view of Halfmoon Bay during a sunny summer day. Taken in Sunshine Coast, BC, Canada.

With the project back at the pre-design phase for a proposed location in Connor Park, Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) staff estimate ground-breaking for the Halfmoon Bay Community Hall in late 2024.

That is according to a report on the agenda of the May 11 committee of the whole meeting.

Exploring siting and community expectations

Pre-design work is scheduled to be completed this August. That will include land surveying, geotechnical explorations and an environmental site review aimed at minimizing the impacts of the project on the park and neighbourhood. While siting options remain open, an SCRD desktop review and a preliminary field reconnaissance review established that “the southeast portion of the park is the most suitable location for the hall”, the report states.

Discussions with the community are also slated to continue. In the works is an open-house event at the park where the public would be invited to explore the site with SCRD staff. Staff also propose having “a presence” at various local public events over the next four months to bring opportunities for project discussions to a broader Coast-wide audience.

In the report, staff acknowledged, “There is a degree of frustration in the community regarding the relocation of the community hall to Connor Park. The incorporation of feedback received through the community discussion opportunities into conceptual design will hopefully reaffirm the positive impact that a modern community hall can provide."

The SCRD plans to use an existing contract to draft a project definition report, which will be presented to elected officials when the pre-design phase is completed. Principle Architecture began working on hall design in 2017 and presented concepts for the previous location, Coopers Green Park, in March 2018. Staff wrote, “They are well equipped to help the SCRD navigate the combination of preliminary design work…and, with community input, develop a vision for a hall that compliments the existing amenities and features of Connor Park.”

Consultation with stakeholders – including the Agricultural Land Commission, the shíshálh Nation, the Halfmoon Bay Community Association, the province and School District 46 – is also part of the pre-design work.

Budget update in July

The report indicates staff will be before the board in July with revisions to the existing $4.5 million project budget. As this no longer involves the replacement of Coopers Green Hall, the SCRD has written to those who provided donations for that purpose to inquire if they would like their donations returned or retained in the new project. Responses have been requested prior to June 30.

A request has been sent to Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program, which approved a $2 million grant for the initiative. That asked to change the location and name of the project, and for a two-year extension of the funding deadline to March 2027.

After pre-design and budget updates, the next step for the project would be to receive board endorsement of a conceptual design. The report states, “Staff continue to be cognizant of time pressure related to the project deadline. Currently, a design-build contract delivery method is being considered which may impact the specific sequence of events following conceptual design."