A re-elected BC NDP government will partner with the community by committing provincial funding support to the redevelopment of the Jewish Community Centre in the Oakridge neighbourhood, delivering 400 child care spaces as part of a new 220,000 square-foot community centre, the NDP announced on Monday.
BC NDP candidates from the region – including Tesicca Truong (Vancouver-Langara), Brenda Bailey (Vancouver-False Creek), George Heyman (Vancouver-Fairview), George Chow (Vancouver-Fraserview), David Eby (Vancouver-Point Grey), and Selina Robinson (Coquitlam-Maillardville) – joined members of the Jewish community to announce the funding commitment and celebrate the potential of the region.
“This is a project that our government has been working on with the community for a number of years now, and I’m thrilled that we’re now at a point to move this project forward,” said Robinson, BC NDP candidate for Coquitlam-Maillardville. “This is an amazing opportunity to deliver new community infrastructure to meet the needs of both the Jewish community here in this region and the broader public, while creating new child care spaces and opening up the potential for us to build hundreds of new affordable rental homes.”
The first phase of the redevelopment of the site will deliver a new 220,000 square foot community centre, complete with increased space for seniors programs, community programming, and 200 more child care spaces than the current building. Once the new building is complete, the existing building will be demolished, making way for the construction of hundreds of new affordable rental homes in its place.
“This is an amazing opportunity for this growing community,” said Truong, BC NDP candidate for Vancouver-Langara. “There are more than 300,000 visits a year to the existing JCC, and the new centre will draw even more people to the area, while providing key services for people who live here. If elected, I will work to make sure that this vision becomes a reality.”
“I remember when this was a relatively new centre, an important welcoming place for the Jewish community and others,” said Heyman, BC NDP candidate for Vancouver-Fairview. “My grandmother who survived the Holocaust joined others here to make new friends. I came here as a teenager. As the community grows, our community hubs should grow too.”
As part of the redevelopment, the community is placing the land into a community land trust, ensuring that it will continue to be available for the public in perpetuity. The total cost of the new community centre is estimated to be $155 million, with the remaining funding being raised by the community.
“On behalf of the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver, we would like to thank Selina Robinson and her colleagues for her past support, and this commitment today,” said Salomon Casseres, President of the Jewish Community Centre of Greater Vancouver. “We are excited to be able to move ahead with this redevelopment, creating new childcare spaces, and increasing seniors and inclusivity programming. While the JCC is Jewish at heart, we are open to everyone. This announcement is of benefit to the Greater Vancouver community as a whole.”