A new aquatic centre being built in Minoru Park in Richmond City Centre is being billed as the largest project the City of Richmond has undertaken since the Richmond Olympic Oval.
Construction crews are currently in the process of completing the finishing touches of the Minoru Centre for Active Living, located at the southern end of Minoru Park immediately west of the track-and-field oval.
City spokesperson Ted Townsend told Daily Hive the facility is currently gearing up for a fall opening, sometime after September.
At a cost of $80 million, the new state-of-the-art, 110,000-sq-ft facility designed by HCMA Architecture + Design will replace the antiquated, 58-year-old Minoru Aquatic Centre located west of the track-and-field oval. In comparison, the municipal government covered $118 million of the $178-million cost to build the Olympic Oval a decade earlier.
Its main features include two 25-metre swimming pools – one eight-lane tank and a secondary six-lane tank – and a large leisure pool with a large river run, spray elements, and play features.
The leisure pool will have a significant functional public art piece: A whimsical white cloud dubbed the “Errant Rain Cloud” by local artists Germaine Koh and Gordon Hicks will hang above this playing pool and mimic the natural atmospheric rain cycle by periodically producing a gentle rainfall.
There will also be two hot tubs, a cold plunge pool, steam room, saunas, a large change room area featuring a mix of gender-specific and universal change areas (similar to UBC Aquatic Centre), and an 8,500-sq-ft fitness gym.
Other facilities comprise of a two-level seniors centre with a lounge, full-service cafe, and a range of activity rooms, such as an arts studio, woodworking shop, and billiards/games room.
Users of Minoru Park’s outdoor sports fields benefit from the new facility, which has eight team rooms for sport field users that are directly accessible from the fields.
As well, three outdoor plazas surrounding the facility serve to boost the facility’s event-hosting capabilities and improve the public realm of Minoru Park.
According to the City, the project is being funded through the use of reserves and borrowing of about $50 million, which will be largely covered by the annual revenues the municipal government receives from River Rock Casino. The new aquatic centre is part of the City’s Minoru Civic Precinct program.
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