Open House at Civic Centre sheds new light on multiplex

The District of Port Hardy held an open house on Oct. 6 which helped shed new light on their proposed multiplex.

The District of Port Hardy held an open house on Thursday, Oct. 6 to unveil the architectural designs for their proposed multiplex project.

The night also included the committal of $250,000 to the proposed brand new facility from Marine Harvest, who were in attendance to present a cheque to Port Hardy Mayor Hank Bood.

“We are seeing a lot of corporate support for this exciting new project,” said Bood in a press release.

“With this huge financial boost, we’re pleased that an important employer like Marine Harvest agrees with Port Hardy’s vision of building a strong and vibrant community.”

Marine Harvest Canada’s Managing Director, Vincent Erenst stated in the press release that “Like Port Hardy, our company is wanting to grow, and by investing in this region we can ensure this remains a great place to live – for those living here now and for those yet to arrive.”

Erenst added that Marine Harvest wants “to be a part of the excitement that Port Hardy and the surrounding region have to offer. This monetary donation is the largest we have ever provided to one single project, and I think clearly indicates the level of commitment our company has to the area.”

The open house kicked off with Mark Hentze, the lead architect on the project presenting a three minute promotional video about the new facility, which was then followed by a power point presentation by Design Architect Mary Chow.

Chow walked the crowd through just what exactly they have planned inside the new facility main floor so far, which includes a hot tub that can fit 15 people, three 25 metre swimming lanes, a lazy river area, on deck seating, family, men’s and women’s change rooms, and more. They also have an upper floor to the pool planned, which is a little over 2,000 square feet in size and features a viewing area of the pool.

Hentze stated in an interview regarding how set in stone the plans for the facility are, that the character of the project “is established,” adding that what he and Chow feel is really important is “that the building capture the essence of the community.”

Bood agreed that the project shows the community’s vision 100 per cent, and said the District put on the open house “to educate the people of Port Hardy on what we’ve done, how much it’s gonna cost, and how much it’s gonna cost per house and per business. We wanted to be totally open with everything. We wanted the people of Port Hardy and the North Island to know what we’re doing and we’re very proud of what we’ve done here.”

Bood added that he loves the project. “I think it’s gonna be such a huge signal to the North Island and to the people of Port Hardy that we’re going forward and that we’ve got a future here in Port Hardy. I absolutely believe we need a facility like this here. We can’t let a place the size of Port Hardy not have a swimming pool.”

Quick facts from the District’s press release:

The Port Hardy Pool is over 40 years old and requires major upgrading and repair to remain operational. An overall assessment of the pool was completed in 2015 with options including repairing or replacing.

The District went to the public to seek input on the direction Council should consider and the survey results returned 74 per cent in favour of building a new aquatic facility. A referendum (Assent Voting Opportunity) will be held Oct. 22, 2016. If approved by the electors of Port Hardy, the District will be looking to pursue grant funding for 2/3 of the $12,000,000 project.

The District of Port Hardy has a population of 4,008 (2011 Census). The District offers many services to the North Island Residents, businesses and visitors. Recreation is an essential service it is proud to offer.