The Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District (ACRD) has launched a new survey that allows residents to create and design their own community pool.
This new survey marks the second round of the ACRD’s community engagement in exploring a replacement pool for the aging Echo Aquatic Centre.
In its first survey, the ACRD received 1,250 responses, with 86.6 percent of respondents indicating they would support a new indoor aquatic centre.
Drawing on what was heard from the first round of engagement, consultants have come up with a shortlist of conceptual design options for a new aquatic centre, with info about potential financial, governance and service delivery options.
The new survey will walk participants through options to create a brand-new pool. It shares high level costs and provides people with household cost estimates based on the facility they designed. The survey presents options for different leisure and lap tanks, as well as additional features such as slides, hot tubs, saunas and fitness spaces, which each come with their own capital costs.
The survey breaks down the estimated annual household cost over a 30-year term for each area in the Alberni Valley, and shows what features and pools have the highest approval rating so far.
The Alberni Valley News took the survey to determine what options would be for a new pool (our options were not submitted). The lowest cost option, which would include an 18-square-metre leisure pool (the same size as the current Echo Pool) and a 25-metre, six-lane lap pool (also the same size as the current pool) with no additional amenities would come to a total capital cost of $54,565,000. For residents living in the City of Port Alberni, this would be an estimated annual household cost of $343.
The most expensive option would be a 260-square metre wave leisure pool (approximately 30 percent larger than the Echo Centre’s leisure pool) and a 50-metre, eight-lane lap pool (approximately twice the length of the current pool with two more lanes). It would also include a slide, hot tub, sauna, steam room, cold plunge pool, fitness space and multi-purpose room. The capital cost would be around $67,870,000, which would cost $449 per year for residents living in the city.
After the second survey is completed, the ACRD and consultants will create a feasibility study with the preferred option for a future pool. The next steps will be considered by various elected bodies within the Alberni Valley, including but not limited to the ACRD board, the City of Port Alberni council, Tseshaht First Nation council and Hupacasath First Nation council.
The survey can be found online at www.letsconnectacrd.ca.
Paper copies of the survey are not available, but those without computers can call the ACRD office at 250-720-2700 to arrange to fill out the survey there.
The ACRD will also be hosting an open house at the Echo Centre on Nov. 29 from 4-7 p.m. and will have tablets available for people to fill out the survey.