Langford Council has given the green light to enter into a long-term contract with Performance Plus Hockey, paving the way for the construction of the first phase of a new mezzanine at City Center Park.
The space would include classrooms for students from the contractor’s Belmont Secondary Hockey Academy, who were traditionally bused to Royal Bay for lessons but may have been closed this year due to capacity issues at the Colwood school.
The city originally planned to pay for the two-story project and budgeted $500,000 for its construction in the 2022 Parks Department capital budget. Then the city got a revised quote for the costs from Verity Construction. , which priced the entire project at $960,000.
When the cost exceeded the originally budgeted amount, the city decided not to bear the costs of the improvements. Performance Plus said it will cover the $400,000 cost to build the first level of the project.
“We’re trying to save a program,” Mayor Stew Young said at the Aug. 15 council meeting. “It’s much better that someone else from the private sector invests that money in our building. Our security is that the upgrades they are making are on a building in the city.
The second floor of the project, or phase two, would be part of future discussions.
Young called the new mezzanine project a win-win for the city and the students, who will both benefit from improved space while the students can stay in hockey academy programs.
In exchange for Performance Plus Hockey to cover the costs of the first phase, the city enters into a 15-year contract with the company to manage the space, separate from the current contract between the two parties for the management of all of City Center Park, which expires in September 2025.
Under the plan, the city will forgo revenue from the new space until the academy gets its money back. For any remaining period of the 15-year term, the municipality will receive 10% of the rental income – the rooms will be made available to the public – and 60% of the income from long-term leases. After 15 years, the management of the mezzanine will be integrated into the main contract for the downtown park.
There was some confusion among advisers about what the project entailed, with Coun. Denise Blackwell saying she couldn’t vote for the project without more information and Coun. Lillian Szpak suggested that the board send the report back to staff for more details.
Young argued that the project was under a “time crunch”, with the school year set to begin and the next board meeting not scheduled until September 6. A postponement would result in the loss of recreational opportunities for children, he said.
Finally, the motion was adopted, with the councillor. Blackwell and Szpak vote against.
City of LangfordhockeyLangfordWest Shore