by Kendal Kelly
Co-chair WCMS

The Westcoast Multiplex Society (WCMS) is a group of volunteers who are dedicating many hours of their time, with the hope that one day there will be a skating rink and swimming pool at the airport lands adjacent to the Long Beach Golf Course.  The WCMS has been making slow but steady progress on the project.

Most recently, the ACRD has agreed to lease 2.2 hectares of land at the airport for the society to build on. Likewise, a Memorandum of Understanding has been signed by the governments of the seven communities of the region, as well as Region C.  The MOU  recognizes their commitment to the realization of such a facility. Beginning the week of September 20, 2010, Vic Van Isle Construction will be holding a building charrett that will begin the design drawing process, with the intent to have the drawings completed in early November of this year.  Also, the environmental assessment and the soil testing will be taking place and will be completed during the same time frame.   As such, the WCMS should be at the “shovel ready” stage by the beginning of 2011.

With this part of the equation off of the board’s plate, the latest challenge is to make the facility affordable to all.  It is the mandate of the society to do just that.  We have no intention of pursuing the multiplex if the operation side of the facility relies on tax-payers to foot the bill.  There has been several different opportunities and ideas presented to the WCMS that can possibly offset these costs.  Alternative energies, such as biomass gasification, geothermal and solar energy are being explored.  Water catchments, on-site sewer treatment and reusable waste water systems are also being researched.  All of these solutions would have a dramatic impact on lowering the operating costs from the number projected in our present business plan.  (a $900K deficit)

Likewise, there are several acres of raw land in the vicinity of the projected building.  It is not out of the realm of reasoning to see this as an opportunity to develop greenhouses, which could use the waste water and energy being created by the multiplex to offset the operation costs of producing local food.  In turn, a portion of the profit from the farm would go towards the operating costs of the multiplex.  Jobs would be created, trucks would be taken of the road, carbon credits could be obtained and greenhouse gases would be reduced.  Similarly, a large scale museum is a possibility.  A portion of the entrance fees could go toward the multiplex, and again, jobs would be created, our heritage would be preserved, and so on.  Several other ideas have been presented, and will also be explored.

The WCMS is hosting an open house on Sunday, September 19th at 6:00 PM at the Long Beach Golf Course. It will be the last opportunity for community members to contribute their ideas of what they want the multiplex facility to offer in the way of amenities such as lap tank, hot tub etc.  Likewise, it is a great opportunity to come out and get an understanding of who we are and what we are trying to accomplish.  Also you will be able to share your ideas, provide feedback, meet some new community members, or perhaps even sign up to be a member of our board!

PS.  Watch for information regarding our 2010/2011 lottery.