Esquimalt Nation Recreation Centre & Day Care
Esquimalt Nation Council and Leadership, in collaboration with Urban Systems and the First Nation Health Authority (FNHA), are working together to complete an application for both a new recreation centre and day care.
Esquimalt Nation has been envisioning a recreation centre for the community for many years. In 2013, the Nation developed a Comprehensive Community Plan (CCP), which identifies recreation and community space as important priorities for the community. Under the recreation and community spaces objectives, the community identifies securing access to a recreational facility that allows for individual and team recreation. Additionally, the recreation centre location is intended to provide a space for Emergency operations. There is currently no community building above the Tsunami zone for the Nation to gather in the event of a natural disaster. The proposed project provides a safe place above the Tsunami zone for the Nation to assemble. In consultation with the community and review with administration and council, a final plan has been established that supports the needs and wants of the community for a recreation facility on Reserve, thus supporting the Nation's application to the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP). To date, the Nation is still waiting for the response on this application.
Esquimalt Nation has long desired a facility on Reserve to support health and wellness along with programming for its young families and youth. The proposed daycare will be a licensed facility supporting ages under 36 months and up to School Age. This demographic is key. Many Nation members are currently at a loss for daycare support as surrounding facilities off Reserve are full or the cost to place their child in a public daycare is above what a family can afford. Needless to say, there is a great need on Reserve along with the surrounding area to provide a child care space that is affordable and within the community.
In early 2019, the Nation applied to the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Funding Program to build a 16,000 sq ft. Recreation Facility with flex space for classes, a kitchen and a few office spaces for health related uses. The proposed Esquimalt Recreation Centre is to be comprised of a gymnasium, a fitness room, change rooms, a two flex/meeting rooms, and support offices. The community recreation centre will also be able to host and serve large functions in the gymnasium through the commercial kitchen within the building. The project is designed to be universally accessible, considers environmental design and is site oriented to allow for future solar panels. The daycare space is proposed to be placed into the upper floor of the Recreation Centre. Keeping consistent with the Recreation Centre's commitment to accessibility, the proposed daycare space also incorporates Universal and Accessible Design standards.