McArthur Island could be trading a youth centre for an indoor soccer field.
With the Boys and Girls Club moving to the empty John Tod elementary school building and the air cadets going to another vacated school in Westsyde, the building being left behind at McArthur Island isn’t worth salvaging, said City parks, culture and recreation director Byron McCorkell.
“The island has changed. It’s a major sporting event area now,” he said Thursday.
“I have no plans to keep it.”
The youth centre building, as it’s officially known, was built in the 1960s. The walls are not insulated, the windows are single-pane glass and an audit of the building estimated maintenance renovations costing $1.5 million will be needed in the coming five to 10 years, he said.
The audit sprang from a request by the Boys and Girls Club, which has long been the youth centre’s main occupant, for upgrades to a washroom.
The estimate for that renovation was $80,000 to $100,000.
The City went to the school district to work a deal that made John Tod a community-use building, and there are now applications out for grants to help offset some of the estimated $1.5 million needed to renovate it, he said.
That’s why the Boys and Girls Club and other youth centre user groups are now moving.
McCorkell said after the building is flattened — once it’s vacated, probably next summer — there are options for something else to be built there.
Back in 2002, when the Tournament Capital plans were in the works, an indoor soccer field was included on the McArthur Island Park map. Kamloops is probably the only city of its size in Canada that doesn’t have that amenity, he said.
At this point, negotiations are still going through some back and forth with Kamloops Minor Soccer, he added.
“The talks with soccer have been going on for quite a while. We haven’t really gelled on the costing and who’s going to pay what or how big/small it’s going to be.”
McCorkell said the youth centre land is the last space on McArthur Island available for sports facilities.
The BMX track area is being moved to Ord Road beside the bus depot, freeing up space that will go toward much-needed parking, he said.
An indoor baseball facility is already under construction on the island.