An illustration of what a newly-built Crystal Pool could look like on Quadra Street. It's an option some councillors said they're leaning towards when it comes to the replacing the aging facility.

Some councillors leaning towards new Crystal Pool

Some Victoria city councillors are leaning towards building a new $68.4-million facility to replace the aging Crystal Pool.

Some Victoria city councillors are leaning towards building a new $68.4-million facility to replace the aging Crystal Pool and Fitness Centre.

One of the recommendations put forward by staff to replace the 45-year-old pool on Quadra Street, includes constructing a new facility where the current basketball and tennis courts are.

The roughly 7,546-square-metre facility would include a fitness centre, multi-purpose rooms, a new leisure pool, as well universal change rooms at a cost of $68.4 million.

The building would have an approximate lifespan of 50 years.

It’s an option some councillors said they are leaning towards.

“(Option) number three seems to be the one that is most able to accommodate what folks have expressed as their needs and desires for this facility. When you crunch the numbers, it’s fairly comparable between option one and three,” said Coun. Marianne Alto.

Coun. Margaret Lucas is also leaning towards building a new facility, but hopes a decision can be made soon so they don’t have to close the existing pool for any length of time while the new one is being built.

Coun. Chris Coleman believes option three is the best value, but is not sure it’s one the city can afford. He noted council must do its due diligence to explore all options to reduce the overall cost to taxpayers in the end.

“The danger is we’re talking about what we like and it’s actually what makes sense to the public. Have we done as much as we can to bring the cost factor down?” he said. “I think what we will hear predominantly in the beginning is we don’t want an option that closes the facility somewhere between 10 months to two years.”

For the past 15 years, the city has mulled potential options for the facility that staff describe as “at the end of its useful life.” Staff put forward two other options to council during a meeting Thursday as well.

The first option would be a retrofit of the existing 5,700-square-metre facility, including systems upgrades, as well as expanding and improving fitness facilities and accessibility, adding family and gender neutral change rooms, adding an elevator for accessibility and expanding the lobby, at a cost of $40 million.

The second option would be a major renovation and expansion to 7,469 square metres, adding new multi-purpose rooms, expanding the fitness space, making the building more accessible and adding a leisure pool at a cost of $56 million.

The first two options would require the existing facility to be closed for 12 to 20 months during construction, but would extend the life of the building by roughly 30 years.

Of the total project cost, $10 million would come from the city’s buildings and infrastructure reserve, while the remainder would be borrowed externally. Staff are also exploring federal and provincial grant programs to get funding.

In order to borrow funding the city must hold a referendum. Council has not made a decision on what option to pursue and have sent the report back to staff to gather more information regarding asbestos, parking, transportation, affordable housing options and looking at ways to work with non-profit recreation providers.

 

 

 

Just Posted

Victoria city staff start from square one on Crystal Pool project

Victoria staff need direction on revised plans for the Crystal Pool and Wellness Project

‘Panda’ Goodlife runner searches for his head

Facebook post for help leads to ‘unconfirmed panda head sightings’

Victoria’s 2020 Capital City Comic Con to feature a special Star Trek guest

Cherry Bomb Toys announced tickets for the event will go on sale on Friday

For Central Saanich couple, fight against MS is a matter of family

Altenkirks sell greeting cards and wooden bowls to raise money for MS Society

Victoria feels the pinch at the pump as gas prices jump 18 cents

Gas up to 157.9 cents per litre at some stations

WATCH: Greater Victoria’s top stories of the day

A round-up of the day’s top stories

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

Potent power play paces Canucks to 5-1 win over Detroit

Miller nets a pair as Vancouver wins third straight

UPDATE: British couple vacationing in Vancouver detained in U.S. after crossing border

CBP claims individuals were denied travel authorization, crossing was deliberate

After losing two baby boys, B.C. parents hope to cut through the taboo of infant death

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in B.C.

Cheating husband sues mistress for gifted ring after wife learns about affair

The husband gave his mistress $1,000 to buy herself a ring in December 2017

B.C. massage therapist reprimanded, fined for exposing patients’ breasts

Registered massage therapist admits professional misconduct

B.C. boosts legal aid funding in new payment contract

‘Duty counsel’ service restored in some communities, David Eby says

VIDEO: Bear spies on cyclists riding by on Campbell River street

Riders seem unaware the bruin is mere feet away on the side of the road

Most Read