The sound of gunfire at the Chilliwack CEP campus may be replaced with whistle-blowing and grunting next year.
Once the RCMP base is finished with the property next to CEP, the shooting range will be an empty space for UFV. Director of athletics and campus recreation Steve Tuckwood says that the shooting range beside the Chilliwack CEP campus could be repurposed into a recreation facility, though there is not formal proposal to date.
According to Tuckwood, the space is too small to house a large recreation facility, so the potential centre would include an artificial turf in addition to an indoor rock-climbing wall and a weight room.
While the source for funding and construction have not been determined yet, the department is seeking input from SUS. Tuckwood says he hopes once the centre is up and running, it will be self-sustaining, with student jobs and public access and admission. Tuckwood says that student jobs would be mostly volunteer, but that there could be potential for paid work.
“We could make them an honorarium that goes with them so people feel that they are getting some monetary help in return for their time,” Tuckwood says. He also mentioned the possibility of working with student clubs, but nothing has been set in stone.
“No idea is off the table,” he says. “Let’s talk about all the options.”
To fund the centre, Tuckwood says he wants SUS to reconsider their current contract through the U-Pass with community recreation centres including the Matsqui Recreation Centre, Abbotsford Recreation Centre, Chilliwack Landing Leisure Centre, the Cheam Leisure Centre, and the Mission Leisure Centre.
“What we have spoken to them about was whether they looked to reduce the amount to leisure centres, how they would re-purpose those funds,” Tuckwood says. SUS president Thomas Davies was unable to grant an interview to comment by press time.
If SUS and the department of athletics and campus recreation invest in a new fitness centre, that could mean negotiating student access to the existing community recreation centres.
“[SUS’s] biggest issue is that they don’t know how many people are using the centres,” Tuckwood says.
Additionally, he says building the centre while ensuring no extra charge for students would mean drawing from SUS’s capital fund.
As for the proposal, Tuckwood mentioned that he is interested in student input.
“What I want is for the students to help make the decisions of how it looks … I need their voice,” he says.
Tuckwood says that the department of athletics and campus recreation will meet with SUS later in October.
The Cascade will continue to cover this story in the coming weeks.
With files from Alex Harte