The new community centre in Clayton Heights is almost finished.
A post to the City of Surrey’s Facebook page says the new 76,000-square foot community centre will be open in a few months.
An anonymous post by the City of Surrey exclaimed, “We are aiming for June or July of this year!”
The post also said the facility completed its “final air tightness” testing during the week of March 1-7.
The air tightness testing determines whether or not the building’s Passive House design is working properly. This will also allow the building to be granted its certification from Passive House Canada.
Passive House — originating in Germany as Passivhaus — is a unique way to construct a building that uses “super insulation” combined with a complex ventilation system to drastically reduce a building’s energy consumption.
Fresh air is continuously sucked into a building and stale air is continuously forced out. While the stale air is being forced out, it is used to heat the incoming air, which minimizes heat loss.
According to Passive House Canada, the low-energy buildings “consume up to 90 percent less heating and cooling energy than conventional buildings.” This design includes being able to build houses without furnaces in cold climates.
“The new community hub is designed and constructed according to the Passive House high-performance building standard,” continued the Facebook post. “It will consume up to 90 per cent less energy than conventional buildings, reducing the City’s carbon footprint and the operating costs of the facility.”
The new community centre is being billed by the City as a “community hub in Clayton that integrates arts, library, recreation, and outdoor spaces in a single facility.”
The new rec. facility will feature: a fitness centre, a gymnasium, a child minding area, several multi-purpose rooms, food service, a full-service library, a teaching kitchen, a two-storey visual arts studio, a wood working studio, a performing arts hall, and music lesson spaces.
According to surrey.ca, “Clayton Community Centre is a place where the community can connect with their neighbours to play, read, and make.”
Comments on Facebook about the new centre ranged from excitement to disappointment.
Wendy Morrison wrote, “I am so excited for this!”
“So needed in this community. Can’t wait,” added Nancy Grindley Carter.
And Maria Nyul-Sauve wrote, “Wow! What a fantastic building!”
However, Dante Qualizza expressed his disappointment in what he feels is missing from the $43-million-plus facility.
“The lack of a pool or ice rink was a huge oversight,” Qualizza wrote. “The people of Clayton Heights were disappointed when the park beside Hazelgrove Elementary was built with a waterpark instead of a pool, and now another opportunity for one of the fastest growing communities in B.C. was missed. If any City of Surrey staff are members of the Clayton Heights FB page, you’d know a lot of people are disappointed with the new rec. Center.”
John Aldag, MP for Cloverdale-Langley City at the time the facility broke ground in July 2018, wrote, “I’m happy to have secured over $1 million in federal funding toward this passive energy building. Not only is it great for the environment, but it will also save taxpayers dollars in the long-term by saving energy costs.”
At the time of the ground-breaking, Mayor Linda Hepner said, “This innovative facility will not only play an important role in community life and identity of Clayton Heights, but also serve as an international icon in green building design.”
The building was projected to cost $43.5 million — with Natural Resources Canada kicking in $1.3 million, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities Green Municipal Fund gifting $175,000, and BC Hydro tossing in $30,000.
The first Passive House to be built in Canada was constructed in Whistler for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Lost Lake PassivHaus was built to display the Passive House technology and to showcase the unique construction methods to the building community.
The Clayton Community Centre is located at 7155 187A Street in Cloverdale.