The City of New Westminster is making progress on its plans to replace the aging Canada Games Pool (CPP) and Centennial Community Centre (CCC) with a new expanded aquatic and recreational centre.
This new amalgamated “destination” facility will be constructed around the existing facilities to ensure the community has continued facility acess during the years-long, multi-phase construction period.
Recently released early architectural design sketches – by HCMA Architecture + Design – show an expansive structure that heavily uses wood materials, including the roof, which incorporates skylights to allow natural light to pour in.
The facades are also highly glazed to ensure visual connections between the street and activities within the facility.
Aquatic and fitness facilities would be located within the southern portion of the site to effectively connect community-related programming with a lobby-social space that runs east to west. The lobby-social space can also be used for community events and celebrations.
This new building would also strategically align with the former location of the Glenbrook Ravine, retaining an opportunity in the future to revive a green north-south corridor through the site. To accommodate the new facility on the site, the existing recycling depot and sports field will be removed and relocated, but the 1965-built Royal City Curling Club will remain.
Potential future condition
Overall, the new facility will have a floor area 65% larger than the combined floor areas of the existing CGP and CCC.
The new indoor aquatic centre would include a leisure pool with a lazy river and a main 50-metre length swimming pool that allows for a community-focused use while also retaining some capabilities for competitive training and small-scale competition events.
But tall international-level diving platforms will not be included; the pool will only have one-metre and three-metre springboards due to the shallower pool depth.
Other aquatics facilities entail sauna and steam rooms, therapeutic spaces, hot pools, and universal change rooms.
There would also be a new fitness centre, gymnasiums, multi-purpose rooms for arts and fitness classes, and a daycare with both indoor and outdoor play spaces.
Over 400 vehicle parking stalls, possibly located underground or within a multi-level parkade structure, would be required to serve the facility.
The municipal government says both the CGP and CCC, built in 1973 and 1967, respectively, are at a “crossroads,” not only due to their age, but also the region and New Westminster’s growing population – which is anticipated to rise from 71,000 today, to about 100,000 by 2045.
If the project receives further approvals from city council, construction could begin sometime in 2020. Early ballpark estimates peg the project’s construction cost at around $100 million.
HCMA Architecture + Design is also responsible for the design of Surrey’s Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre, West Vancouver’s Aquatic Centre and Community Centre, Vancouver’s Hillcrest Aquatic Centre and Killarney Community Pool, and Richmond’s new aquatic centre at the Minoru Centre for Living.
The existing Canada Games Pool was built in time for the 1973 Canada Summer Games held in New Westminster. At the time, it was considered a state-of-the-art, Olympic-standard swimming and diving pool.
It features eleven giant laminated wood beams, 6,000 feet of laminated timbers, and 40,000 sq. ft. of wood roof decking.
The adjacent community centre completed a few years earlier was New Westminster’s official project celebrating Canada’s Centennial in 1967.