The new South Bonson Community Centre is still a month away from opening, but the Pitt Meadows facility is already proving to be popular with couples planning their weddings.
The community centre is scheduled to open Aug. 22, with grand opening celebration being held Sept. 17. But recreation manager Don Cramb says Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows Parks and Leisure Services already has three weddings booked for the centre and another half dozen pending.
“It’s quite popular,” Cramb said. “It should become a focal point for entire community.”
The community centre is located at the centre of the Osprey Village development in south Pitt Meadows, just steps away from where developer Mosaic Homes was supposed to have built a wedding chapel as part of the development covenant for Osprey Village with the City of Pitt Meadows.
Despite the community centre already serving as a wedding venue for the neighbourhood, Geoff Duyker of Mosaic Homes said they are committed to building the chapel as promised, if that’s what the community wants.
“The site is still designated and zoned for a chapel, and we aren’t pursuing a change,” Duyker said. “[The community centre] is a beautiful building, we’re not surprised people are using it for weddings.”
Pitt Meadows city council voted Tuesday to direct Mosaic Homes to hold a public information meeting with residents in the area about the future of the chapel site. No date has been set for the session.
Should the community prefer another use for the chapel site, Duyker said Mosaic Homes is open to that as well.
“We are going to go back to the public and ask them, what do you think should be put there,” Duyker said. Mosaic is hoping to add 24 more residential units to the development despite already maxing out the project’s residential density. The development already features 456 residential units, the maximum allowable under the development agreement, along with more than 13,000 square feet of commercial space.
The new community centre features more than 12,000 square feet of recreational and community space, including a banquet room capable of accommodating weddings with up to 170 guests.
The building is LEED gold certified, and employs a number of innovative environmentally-friendly features.
For starters, the facility was built on the site of an old mill, and uses reclaimed wood from former Pitt Meadows fire chief Bill Parks’ family barn on Lougheed Highway.
The building uses natural light wherever possible and rainwater is collected for use in the facility’s toilets.
The building also features a sprung wood floor for dance classes, and a small boardroom for meeting.
“All the rooms are designed to be multi-purpose,” said Cramb. “You could use them for an art class, aerobics, meetings, anything you want.”
Cramb said his favourite feature of the community centre is the “community living room” which features couches and bookcases where people can cozy up and read next to a fireplace. “It’s really more of a social centre,” Cramb said.