Esquimalt makes major upgrades to recreation facilities

Archie Browning, recreation centre and Memorial Park sees more than $1.2 million in improvements

Esquimalt is changing the face of its recreational facilities one place at a time.

In the last year, the township has spent more than $1.2 million in upgrades to the Esquimalt Recreation Centre, Memorial Park and Archie Browning Sports Cente, and more is on the way.

“There’s a lot of stuff going on, and it’s fun because everyone (municipal staff) is getting involved,” said Rick Daykin, manager of parks and facilities services.

The recreation centre has undergone $650,000 in renovations in the last seven months, adding a vestibule to the front entrance area, pushing the reception area back to allow more room for the public, adding windows and new paint.

The atrium also saw major work with the creation of a new room viewing the pool that can be sectioned off for two separate events, the floor was replaced with a longer lasting epoxy finish, acoustical tiles on the ceiling, and just a generally better layout.

A plaza and park entrance pillars now grace Memorial Park. The plaza leads up to the cenotaph. The major thrust behind this project was to get veterans off the street during Remembrance Day ceremonies and into the park.

The intricate brickwork of the plaza has a poppy emblazoned into the rock.

The park was also re-landscaped and better drainage added.

Total cost of the project was $200,000.

Archie Browning is currently undergoing $330,000 in upgrades in project that is expected to last until June.

Much like the rec centre, Archie Browning will see an improved and more spacious entrance way and reception area. The facade and flooring will also be improved.

“These are just the major projects,” Daykin said. “There are a lot of little projects throughout the Esquimalt.”

And, he said, many more projects are on the way in the coming year, including a plaza at Archie Browning.

“There’s been a super good response to these projects,” Daykin said. “They’re seeing it as an improvement.”