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Riley residents circulate petition to save community centre

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – The new Hillcrest Park Community Centre may boast state-of-the-art aquatic and fitness centres, but neighbours are already considering the Olympic facility inadequate.

That’s why there is a push to keep the old Riley Park Community Centre open. It is slated to be torn down this fall.

Norm Dooley belongs to the Riley Park-South Cambie Community Visions Committee, a group of people circulating a Park Board petition to save the centre. He says Hillcrest isn’t big enough to host the programs currently running at Riley Park.

“We looked at the square footage of the community centre portion and compared it to the footage in Riley. There’s no increase in the actual room space,” he tells News1130.

“We’re asking if the existing programs can be accommodated at the new facility. It’s a really, really tight fit. Already the Hillcrest is so taxed in terms of usage, the park board is considering expanding the fitness centre. That would require building onto the new facility for quite a bit of money. It makes sense to use the existing facility.”

Dooley’s group is looking for a six-month moratorium on the demolition. He says that will give them time to work out a business plan with the private sector to keep the popular centre open.

To sign the petition calling on the Park Board to stop the demolition of the Riley Park Community Centre, click here.