Lax Kw’alaams Culture, Heritage, Business, and Leisure Centre

 

Lax Kw’alaams (Land of Wild Roses) also known as Port Simpson BC, is a remote First Nations village approximately 35 miles north of Prince Rupert, with a population of 1,200 residents. When the community decided to add to their existing recreation centre, they were faced with two challenges: what did they want and how could they make it a reality. To assist them, Vic Davies took the senior Band Members on a tour of aquatic and recreational facilities on Vancouver Island and then, and with the input from the community, completed a Feasibility Study. The people of Port Simpson wanted a complex that would be the social, recreational and cultural hub of their community. With this in mind, an Elders’ Lodge, Wellness Centre and Aquatic Centre were proposed to be added to the existing recreation centre. The scope of the project evolved from there when it was realized that the existing facility required major upgrading.

In addition to a 1,350 square metre aquatic centre – complete with a combined four-lane competition pool and a leisure pool featuring moving water, lazy river, water slide, steam room, sauna and hot tub – the new complex includes an Elders’ Lodge consisting of a large meeting room, kitchen, craft room and museum display area. The existing recreation centre and gymnasium were stripped and renovated into a Wellness Centre.

The remoteness of the location was a major factor for the design team. Much of the building materials had to be pre-engineered and limited road access meant all materials and equipment had to be barged from Prince Rupert. Each shipment had to be inventoried and assembled in Vancouver, and each trade need identified for specific jobs.

VDA was Prime Consultant for this project.

Lax Kw’alaams (Land of Wild Roses) also known as Port Simpson BC, is a remote First Nations village approximately 35 miles north of Prince Rupert, with a population of 1,200 residents. When the community decided to add to their existing recreation centre, they were faced with two challenges: what did they want and how could they make it a reality.