Surrey CouncillorsMandeep Nagra and Doug Elford slam Newton BIA president for opposing plans to build New Community Centre
SURREY: Safe Surrey Coalition Councilor Doug Elford and Councilor Mandeep Nagra have slammed Newton BIA President Philip Aguirre for his recent comments against plans to build the new, world-class Newton Community Center.
According to Nagra, the Newton community has historically been neglected and underinvested by previous councillors. Former Mayor Doug McCallum and the Safe Surrey Coalition proposed building a state-of-the-art community center for the Newton families.
An estimated $100 million project planned at 6965 King George Boulevard near the area’s existing recreation and downtown area and TransLink’s bus center have been approved by the previous mayor and council. The new facility is scheduled to open to the public by the end of 2024.
But in a recent statement, Newton BIA President Aguirre questioned why the site was chosen for a community center when the area’s “civic core” is across the street from where an existing recreation center stands, closer to 72nd Avenue and the current transit hub.
The first phase is planned to include an aquatic center with a 50-meter 10-lane lap pool, leisure pool, lazy river, water attractions, large family hot tub, sauna, steam rooms, multi-purpose rooms, fitness center, child care facility and other indoor and outdoor facilities .
Aguirre asked if the site could be better used as affordable, mixed-use, high-density housing. “We are asking the new Surrey Council and Mayor to reconsider this plan and instead reinvest this capital expenditure into the redevelopment of the existing facilities and land. The Newton Arena, wave pool, recreation center, senior center and library need a comprehensive revitalization plan, not a political promise that doesn’t fit into the official community plan. Community consultation is important!”
“It is unfortunate that Mr Aguirre, who does not live in Surrey, is arguing for this important project for our community and young families to be postponed. The new Newton Community Center will be an important resource for residents and should not be delayed by the personal opinions of those who do not live in the area,” said Councilor Elford.
CouncilorNagra added: “Newton residents and families deserve the best and should not be denied access to first class public facilities. The Safe Surrey Coalition will reject any attempts to delay or impede the construction of the Newton Community Centre.”