There is about 12,000 square meters of land now being used for above ground parking. There is also about 12,000 square meters of land taken up by the footprints of four old buildings spread out around the precinct: Harry Jerome itself, Memorial Gym, the Mickey McDougall building and the present Silver Harbour. (You can see the buildings and estimate the area for yourself on Google Maps.)
A new Community Recreation Centre would not cover as much as the 12,000 square meters of land and provide more than double the amount of useable space. There would be one physical plant instead of four old ones. No decaying end-of-life infrastructure, one seismically sound building, lower overall supervisory and operating costs – and a much, much more useful building for the community.
The parking could all go underground. Up to 12,000 square meters can revert to green space less only land sold to contribute some part of the funds to pay for the project. Remember, the City also has cash reserves greater than the total estimated cost of the project. Some portion of that money could also contribute to a new modern Harry Jerome.
It makes no sense to renovate the hodge-podge of ill suited 50 year-old buildings that make up the aptly named “Harry Jerome Complex”. We need to simplify the problem of Harry Jerome. Build one new Community Centre for Health & Wellness in the City, and build it to last for the next 50 years.