The UNA and UBC have set new terms for resident access to athletic and cultural facilities.
The Neighbours Agreement between UBC and the UNA contains provisions for public use of UBC facilities, and residents of UBC neighbourhoods have complained that the old agreement allowed UBC to set schedules that limited access, especially at the Doug Mitchell skating rinks.
“Public skating and stick and puck times typically fall during the middle of the weekdays or late in the evening,” UNA director Murray McCutcheon said. The UBC Aquatic Centre “access times are generally agreeable for families,” McCutcheon added, although some users reported that registration requirements are “a frustration and barrier to access.”
The revised agreement “requires UBC to consult with the UNA early in the process of setting schedules and user fees” for the aquatic centre and the ice rinks, with the goal being access and fees comparable to similar facilities in the Vancouver area.
UNA recreation manager Dave Gillis is expected to meet regularly with UBC staff to provide input on scheduling. “… by our attendance in these meetings, it opens a direct and expedited line of communication to voice concerns, challenges, and praise, on both sides,” he said.
The agreement, financed by annual withdrawals from the Neighbours’ Fund, also gives residents free access to the UBC Botanical Garden, the Museum of Anthropology, the Nitobe Memorial Garden, and the Beaty Biodiversity Museum.
The Neighbour’s Fund finances the UNA’s operating budget and is underwritten from the services levy collected by UBC from property owners.
EAGLE GLASSHEIM IS A PROFESSOR OF HISTORY AT UBC AND A UNA DIRECTOR. HE CHAIRS THE UNA’S LAND USE ADVISORY AND NEWSPAPER EDITORIAL COMMITTEES.