Council gets first look at plan for aquatics centre

Red Deer City council got their first look at the detailed design of the community’s future multi-use aquatics centre which includes a 50m pool.

Ted Watson, principal architect with Maclennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects out of Toronto presented the plan to council on Monday night.

The new aquatic centre is proposed to be added onto the existing Recreation Centre downtown. It is currently beyond the City’s 10-year capital plan.

“The concept is a multi-use aquatic facility so it will accommodate all kinds of activities under one roof,” he said. “It’s also going to integrate with park sites so it’s part of a master plan of the entire downtown Rotary Park site. The integration within the park site is very important.”

The proposed plan shows the facility including a six lane, 25m-dive tank, two wave-simulators to allow for surfing, a whirlpool and therapy pool.

“We would retain the existing 25 lane, 25 metre pool,” said Watson. “We would also have a 54 metre pool which would have two removable bulkheads to allow for different uses within the basin. It would also include a 25 by 25 metre removable floor. Half of the pool can move up and down to various levels to create a beach entry or to allow for aqua-fit or other uses.”

In addition to the 50m pool, the facility will have a number of outdoor amenities including a splash pad and playgrounds.

The plan also proposes to cut the current outdoor swimming pool which is 50m to 25m.

“Overall I think this plan is exciting and it’s a great looking building,” said Councillor Cindy Jefferies. “I struggle with this because I wish we could start tomorrow.”

She added more discussion needs to take place within the community regarding the outdoor pool and the proposal to make it smaller.

“I would like to see the existing pool be kept the way it is,” said Jefferies.

Meanwhile, Watson said Red Deer is falling behind when it comes to the development of a 50m pool.

“Red Deer is notably absent when it comes to the development of these types of facilities,” he said. “Fifty-metre pool venues are becoming more popular. They’re becoming the norm within Alberta and within 10 years it will become more notably absent within a community this size.”

Council agreed to accept the proposed plan for information.