After an 18 month delay, Richmond’s massive new indoor aquatic centre is set to open to the public.
The City of Richmond announced this week the aquatic centre with the Minoru Centre for Active Living (MCAL) at Minoru Park will officially open on Monday, September 21.
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The $80 million facility’s seniors and events centre opened to the public as planned in March 2019, but the completed aquatic centre’s opening was delayed after one of the concrete bases of the six swimming pools shifted.
An investigation into the issue was completed in November 2019, with another contractor hired to complete the necessary repair work. At the time, the city stated the full cost of the repairs are fully covered by insurance at no cost to taxpayers, as the investigation deemed the failure was caused by “construction workmanship deficiencies.”
The upper-level fitness gym overlooking the aquatic centre opened earlier this year.
Upon opening later this month, the aquatic centre will operate with a reduced capacity and pre-registration will be required for 75-minute swim sessions. There will be limited drop-in spaces each session on a first-come, first-served basis.
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“The Minoru Centre for Active Living is a facility that everyone in the City can be proud of and we are delighted to finally be able to showcase its many features,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie in a statement.
“While we are only able to provide access in a controlled manner right now due to our COVID-19 safety protocols, we encourage everyone to take some time to come and experience the centre themselves.”
The 110,000-sq-ft facility is located at Minoru Park, just west of CF Richmond Centre shopping mall. It was constructed to replace two ageing facilities at the park — the existing seniors centre at Minoru Place Activity Centre and Minoru Aquatic Centre, which will remain open until the new swimming facilities are ready for the public.
The aquatic centre component of the new facility includes two 25-metre length swimming lap pools — one eight-lane tank and one six-lane tank — and a large leisure pool with a long lazy river run, water sprays, and play features.
A wellness area features Canada’s two largest hot tubs, a cold plunge pool with a temperature of 15°C , a steam room, and saunas. There is also a slide, diving board, a playful “Errant Rain Cloud” shower, and an over water climbing wall.
The project was designed by HCMA Architecture + Design, and the general construction contractor was Stuart Olson.