A modern concession building is finally set to open this weekend at Centennial Beach.
Costing over $2 million, the long-awaited and much talked about facility is to have an official opening on Sunday during the 12th annual Father's Day pancake breakfast, although it will only be a "soft" opening.
The washrooms will be open to the public but the concession, called Centennial Beach Café, won't be able to offer much more than coffee while the operator gets the various permits needed and equipment installed.
Metro Vancouver parks manager Mitch Sokalski said a full opening for the café will likely take a couple of weeks.
He said the building is an impressive one that will serve locals and other visitors to the popular beach well.
"There's been no changes in the design since the plans went through. So all the green technology and those types of elements are all included. We look at it as probably the greenest of the beach concessions/ washroom buildings in the region," said Sokalski.
Located next to the children's playground, the approximately 5,000square-foot building's official opening will take place at 11: 30 a.m. to coincide with the annual Sunday in the Park festivities. Hosted by the Tsawwassen/Boundary Bay Lions Club, the Cammidge House Committee, Metro Vancouver and Boundary Bay Regional Park volunteers, the event takes place from 9 a.m. to noon.
The regional district had been planning to construct a washroom/concession building with a destinationstyle restaurant on top.
However, after a couple of years, the district wasn't able to find a suitable private partner for the restaurant and that part of the plan was shelved.
The new building was to open for beachgoers last summer, when the old, dilapidated concession/washroom, which had drawn a lot of criticism in recent years, was to be demolished. Now that the new building is ready to open, the old one will be torn down in the coming weeks, said Sokalski.
Centennial Beach Park is municipally-owned land that is leased to Metro Vancouver to manage as part of the Boundary Bay Regional Park.
Delta council last year approved a new site master plan for the beach area that contains a number of other improvements, including paving the north parking lot, a plaza space adjacent to the playground, three picnic shelters along the north/south pathway, and removal of the north backstop and infield to allow for less structured play and the potential to become festival space.
Some of the other improvements include enhancing the existing tennis courts, leveling an adjacent area for bocce ball and developing a formal beach volleyball space at the south edge of the park.
The previous year the playground was expanded to give children with physi-cal disabilities a chance to play, one of the few such amenities in the Lower Mainland.