The ground has just broken on a new major aquatics and community centre in New Westminster that will replace the aging Canada Games Pool and Centennial Centre.
The $107-million facility is being built immediately to the west of the existing facilities, allowing aquatics and community centre programs to continue during construction.
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The new facility, designed by local architectural firm HCMA, spanning a total floor area of 114,600 sq ft, features a 50-metre swimming pool with eight lanes, including two bulkheads and a movable floor to ensure the replacement for Canada Games Pool can still be used for elite training and some competition purposes.
The main pool also has space for temporary grandstand seating, and two diving platforms, with the highest platform at a height of five metres.
The aquatics centre component also includes a 25-metre leisure pool with three lanes, a lazy river, spray toys and tot zone, two whirlpools, steam room, sauna, and accessible gendered and universal change rooms.
Other recreational components in the complex entail a fitness gym spanning two levels overlooking the aquatic centre, spin room, multi-purpose fitness rooms for aerobic and yoga classes, and two gymnasiums.
As a community centre, the facility offers childcare for up to 45 kids, meeting rooms, and multi-purpose activity rooms for art, parties, and special community events, as well as health and wellness space for physiotherapy, massage, and chiropractic services.
A lobby that runs east-west through the facility provides a gathering and socializing space. This space also has a cafe.
Outdoor spaces will pay homage to the Glenbrook Ravine to the southeast, which previously ran through the site, including wetland landscape features with walkways. Basketball sports court and plaza spaces are also planned.
Approximately 400 vehicle parking stalls will be provided in two lots to the west and east of the building. A substantial portion of the east lot will only be completed after the existing aquatic centre and community centre buildings are demolished.
“This project has been many years in the making and I’m very proud of the extensive engagement that has taken place and the community input we received from individuals of all ages and backgrounds,” said New Westminster mayor Jonathan Coté.
“The final design reflects the community’s values and priorities with an overall goal of reducing barriers to access. The new facility will be an inclusive and accessible place where everyone feels welcome and that they belong.”
According to the municipal government, the new facility, designed for a LEED Gold green building certification, will be the first aquatic centre in the country to achieve the Canadian Green Building Council Zero Carbon Building standard. It will also be the first aquatic centre to use the innovative pool drum filtration system.
HCMA also designed Killarney Community Pool and Hillcrest Centre in Vancouver, Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre in Surrey, the new Minoru Centre for Active Living in Richmond, and South Burnaby Ice Arena, which is currently under construction.
The new facility is scheduled to open in late 2023, and the demolition of the existing buildings and construction of the outdoor spaces is anticipated to reach completion in Summer 2024.
Centennial Centre was built in time for Canada’s Centennial celebrations in 1967, while Canada Games Pool was constructed for the 1973 Canada Summer Games held in New Westminster.
To accommodate the new facility on the site, the existing recycling depot and sports field will also be removed and relocated, but the 1965-built Royal City Curling Club will remain.
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