UPDATE – New Alberni pool plan not quite dead in water

It's going to take 10 years to get off the ground but Alberni should start saving now for the $17 million it will take to build a new pool.

The city should start saving now in order to be able to afford a new pool complex in the future, says Port Alberni city councillor Hira Chopra.

A report released last week shows a new Echo Aquatic Centre will cost $17 million to build but could take 10 years to break ground.

The project is outlined in the Echo Aquatic Centre Feasibility final report, which was brought up  for discussion at Monday’s city council meeting.

Parks and recreation director Scott Kenny said as soon as he introduced the report that he is not asking for money for the project right now.

Council okayed the $24,000 feasibility study last March with funds from its land sale reserve fund.

Assembled by Venture Pacific Construction Management, the study was completed over a six-month period. It encapsulates comments made at public meetings about the new pool idea, existing pool assessment, demographic information and cost projections.

The study outlines six options for a new facility costing between $15 million to $18 million, and range from renovating the existing building to building a new facility and using the old one for other purposes.

Study proponents recommend Option 6 (pictured) as the preferred option, the study notes.

The proposed $17 million plan includes a six-lane lap pool, leisure pool, waterslides, new change rooms, as well as office and fitness space.

The old building would be renovated and used for fitness, office and multipurpose spaces.

The new facility would draw more and could increase revenue by 40 per cent. While the new facility would require additional maintenance and staff, the additional revenue would offset it.

Land has been identified behind the old pool where the new facility could be built and an option with a package of amenities has been recommended.

But a lack of substantial federal or provincial grants to help underwrite the issue may stall the project for another 10 years, the report noted.

And the city doesn’t have enough money to float the project either.

“Even if we directed all of the funds from the casino ($500,000), Community Forest (estimated $500,000) and Parks and Recreation Capital reserve for 10 years we would at best accumulate a total of approximately $10 million,” Kenny said.

When asked how long the pool will last before a new one is an absolute necessity, Kenny said real wear-and-tear will show up in about four years, but the mechanical system is in good shape and should hold up for at least seven.

Council  directed staff to seek funding options, and Chopra said they should look at putting money away so they have at least one-third of the total cost in hand when they start applying for grants.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

Port Alberni millwright brings Beatles’ iconic yellow submarine to life for ice show

Beatlemania is set to take the ice on Saturday, Feb. 23 at the Alberni Valley Multiplex

Vancouver measles outbreak prompts vaccine vigilance on Island

No cases here yet, but Island health authorities push measles vaccinations - and not just for kids

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Battle of the Bands winner set to perform at Char’s Landing

Sean Lyons is a singer-songwriter originally from Port Alberni

Port Alberni sends large contingent of athletes to Special Olympics Winter Games

Veteran curler Simone Myers dreams of gold in her seventh provincials

‘Riya was a dreamer’: Mother of slain 11-year-old Ontario girl heartbroken

Her father, Roopesh Rajkumar, 41, was arrested some 130 kilometres away

Unplowed Roads parody song destined to be a classic

Move over Weird Al, Island elementary students on the same level

Do you live with your partner? More and more Canadians don’t

Statistics Canada shows fewer couples live together than did a decade ago

B.C. child killer denied mandatory outings from psychiatric hospital

The B.C. Review Board decision kept things status quo for Allan Schoenborn

Searchers return to avalanche-prone peak in Vancouver to look for snowshoer

North Shore Rescue, Canadian Avalanche Rescue Dog teams and personnel will be on Mt. Seymour

Market volatility, mortgages loom over upcoming earnings of Canada’s big banks

Central bank interest hikes have padded the banks’ net interest margins

Hearings into SNC-Lavalin affair start today, but not with Wilson-Raybould

She has repeatedly cited solicitor-client privilege to refuse all comment

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

B.C. pot giant Tilray to acquire hemp food company Manitoba Harvest for up to $419 million

Tilray will pay $150 million in cash and $127.5 million in stock.

Most Read