Opening of new Richmond aquatic centre postponed due to shifting base

Feb 21 2019, 5:57 pm

Richmond residents eager to use the aquatic facilities at the new Minoru Centre for Active Living will have to wait longer.

The $80-million recreational hub, seniors centre, and events centre were scheduled to fully open on March 11, but the City of Richmond announced yesterday the aquatic facilities portion of the facility will not open in time due to structural issues with the aquatic centre.

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According to the municipal government, it was discovered during the commissioning work of filling the six swimming pools with water that the concrete base had shifted on one of the pools.

As a result, the opening of the aquatics centre has been postponed to allow for repairs, and a technical assessment is being made to determine the scope of the required repairs and develop an implementation plan and schedule. The city plans on providing a timeline for the completion of the repairs after the completion of the assessment.

However, the facility’s two-storey seniors centre and the events centre will still open as planned on March 11.

The facility at Minoru Park — just west of CF Richmond Centre shopping mall — was built to replace the existing seniors centre at Minoru Place Activity Centre and the existing Minoru Aquatic Centre, which will remain open until the new aquatic facilities are ready for the public. It was originally slated for a fall 2018 opening, but delays with construction pushed the opening to this year.

Artistic rendering of Minoru Centre for Active Living. (HCMA Architecture + Design)

Designed by HCMA Architecture + Design, the new state-of-the-art, 110,000-sq-ft facility has an aquatic centre with 60% more surface water area than the existing 58-year-old aquatic centre next door. This includes two 25-metre length swimming pools — one eight-lane tank and one six-lane tank — and a large leisure pool with a large lazy river run, water sprays, 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.

A wellness area will boast Canada’s two largest hot tubs, a cold plunge pool, a steam room, saunas, and an 8,500-sq-ft fitness gym.

As well, a large change room area features a mix of gender-specific and universal change areas — similar to the new UBC Aquatic Centre.

Richmond Minoru Centre for Active Living

Artistic rendering of Minoru Centre for Active Living. (HCMA Architecture + Design)

Richmond Minoru Centre for Active Living

Artistic rendering of Minoru Centre for Active Living. (HCMA Architecture + Design)

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