City staff are requesting $725,000 to conduct a feasibility study for the new Crystal Pool and Wellness facility. (Black Press Media file photo)

Victoria staff request $725,000 to plan for new Crystal Pool facility

Staff are starting over after $2.2 million already spent on designs

City staff are starting over on the planning process for a new Crystal Pool and Wellness facility.

In a report coming to the committee of the whole on Thursday, Thomas Soulliere, director of Parks, Recreation and Facilities requests the approval of $725,000 in funding to conduct a feasibility study and to create a Project Advisory Group (PAG) to help navigate the decisions.

The feasibility study would include finding an optimal site, engaging in public consultation and confirming the design and cost estimates. The study is estimated to take between 14 and 16 months. The PAG would be comprised of up to 15 community stakeholders and would be established in the next few months.

ALSO READ: Victoria city staff start from square one on Crystal Pool project

In 2017, council approved $10 million for the project, of which $2.2 million was already used in the first rendition of the plans. In the initial designs, staff identified the southwest corner of Central Park as the location for the new pool.

However, in 2018 council heard from the North Park Neighbourhood Association (NPNA) which had done research and provided a report addressing issues raised by residents about the Central Park site, with a large emphasis on a loss of green space.

This began a search for an alternative location; the city explored moving the project across the street to the parking lot of the Save-On-Foods-Memorial Arena, the Royal Athletic Park and at sites owned by the Greater Victoria School District, with no luck.

ALSO READ: Dozens rally for Susan Simmons’ icy ocean dip for Crystal Pool

In choosing to look at alternative options the City lost $6 million from the Gas Tax Fund, $1 million from the Canadian Tire Jump Start Grant, and the first two years of a 10-year federal-provincial grant that was ready to cover up to 72 per cent of the $69.4 million project.

Costs have been estimated to rise by up to $500,000 per month.

At the same time, however, the present and ailing facility is costing upwards of $100,000 per month in maintenance costs.

“The Crystal Pool and Wellness Centre Replacement project remains one of the most significant infrastructure initiatives the City has undertaken,” Soulliere wrote. “The updated plan lays out a new approach to engaging with the community on the priorities for this project and is intended to be thorough and efficient.”

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Like us on Facebook, send a Tweet to @NicoleCrescenzi
and follow us on Instagram

City of VictoriaCrystal Pool

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Royal B.C. Museum reopens in phases, some galleries remain closed to start summer

Victoria museum and archives open first galleries June 19

Greater Victoria’s first BC Cannabis Store could open at Saanich shopping centre

Store application for Uptown Shopping Centre headed for public hearing

MISSING: Victoria police on the lookout for woman last seen April 28

Leah Parker, 41, is described five-foot-five and about 140 pounds with brown/blonde hair, blue eyes

Homeless shelter at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre creates 40 jobs

The arena can house 45 people in pop-up pods

Bears spotted near Saanich lake spooked by police, wandered off

Bear, cub not seen over weekend but police ask residents to be on alert

Dr. Bonnie Henry given new name in B.C. First Nation ceremony: ‘one who is calm among us’

The provincial health officer was honoured in a May 22 ceremony at elementary school in Hazelton

28 soldiers test positive for COVID-19 after working in Ontario care homes

Nearly 1,700 military members are working in ong-term care homes overwhelmed by COVID-19

B.C. poison control sees spike in adults, children accidentally ingesting hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizer sales and usage have gone up sharply amid COVID-19 pandemic

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

B.C. man with Alberta plates gets car keyed and aggressive note

Some out-of-province people are finding hostile reception due to COVID-19 worries

B.C. drive-in theatre appeals COVID-19 concession rules, 50-car limit

With 50 cars and the removal of concession sales, drive-in owner says theatre might have to close

COVID-19: B.C. grants aim to stabilize sexual assault recovery programs

$10 million fund not yet ready to take applications

Case of missing Vancouver Island woman inspires new true crime podcast

‘Island Crime’ Season 1 covers 2002 disappearance of Nanaimo’s Lisa Marie Young

Most Read