This artistic rendering of the future Edmonton Velodrome appears in the report that the Greater Victoria Velodrome Association has submitted as part of the group’s proposal for a velodrome in Saanich. (Image created by HCMA/DUB in association with Faulknerbrowns/Submitted)

Velodrome proposal has support in ‘principle’ from Saanich committee

Coun. Zac de Vries said proposal should come before council for further discussion

A Saanich councillor who has seen plans for a velodrome near Uptown says it has potential.

Coun. Zac de Vries said he would like see plans from the Greater Victoria Velodrome Association for a velodrome come before the full council in the same way that councillors heard plans from the proponents of STAR (Spectrum Turf and Rink), a proposal to build a pop-up ice rink and an artificial athletic turf for football, soccer, baseball and field lacrosse near Spectrum Community School.

RELATED: Saanich committee to hear plans for velodrome project in excess of $96 million

Such an appearance would help the proponent engage “more seriously” with potential partners, he said.

De Vries made these comments after the planning, transportation and economic development advisory committee chaired by him heard plans for the facility earlier this month and supported it in principle. It also supported in principle support for a cycling themed facility.

“My impression was that there has been time, effort, and money put into this concept that is worth exploring,” he said. “As presented, the partnerships required to realize this concept have potential to realize some of our strategic goals, so I am interested in exploring this.”

RELATED: Saanich council sends proposal for Spectrum rink to staff for review

Elements of the so-called ‘Hub’ proposal submitted by the Greater Victoria Velodrome Association “may include, but are not limited” to a 250-metre velodrome track, sports facilities and administrative offices of various kinds, a multi-disciplinary medical facility, public spaces, a community school and library, convention space, and an “[affiliated hotel] and possible residential accommodation (privately owned or timeshare).”

The report presents three options, ranging from $76.2 million to $96.8 million for the preferred option near Uptown Shopping Centre, with construction scheduled to start in the third quarter of 2020, running through the first quarter of 2022.

Key details, however, remain unknown at this stage. They include funding sources.

According to the report, the business case is “predicated on a core public space and amenities that will be subsidized by the public on a per capita basis.”

The report promises that “symbiotic partnerships” with private business and other governmental agencies that require infrastructure and amenities would mitigate build and maintenance costs.

Members of Saanich’s parks, trails and recreation advisory committee are due to hear the presentation Thursday.

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