Pool advocates present report to City council

  • Jul. 9, 2014 3:23 p.m.

City council received a report on a proposed multi-use aquatic centre that would be built in Rotary Recreation Park if ultimately approved.

The Red Deer Multi-Use Aquatic Centre Review Committee was formed to review essential information and make recommendations to City council regarding the proposed facility.

“The committee of 10 reviewed information, studies and reports to understand the relevant information required to make an informed decision on an aquatic facility,” said David Lustgarten, chair of the aquatic committee.

“The multi-use aquatic facility we are recommending to council will be the indoor and outdoor aquatic gathering place for Red Deer and surrounding areas,” he said.

“The key principles we’ve based our recommendations on are accessibility, community focus, fiscal responsibility and sustainability.”

The proposed resolutions which were brought forward from the committee for the facility include a variety of amenities such as a 10-lane pool, outdoor leisure pool and swim club space and a separate diving tank.

It would be built at Rotary Recreation Park at an estimated minimum cost of $74.65 million.

“I think what has changed is that we’ve defined a lot of the items that we hadn’t defined before,” said Lustgarten, adding that the committee wanted to ensure plans included amenities for use for as many Red Deerians as possible.

“Something not just focused on swimming, but that allows youth, family and seniors to enjoy the centre as well,” he said.

During the 2014 capital budget debate, council approved a resolution in which administration and council develop and undertake an engagement process about the aquatic centre with the community.

At the March 17th council meeting, a resolution was approved to establish the Red Deer Multi-Use Aquatic Centre Review Ad Hoc Committee.

“We also had a lot of different alternatives on the table, and we were able to shortlist some of those alternatives and determine exactly what it is we want to include in our amenities.

“We wanted to make sure we had the right amenities to really serve both the current needs and the future of Red Deer,” he said. With those amenities in mind, the $74.65 million figure is where the committee ultimately landed, he said.

Meanwhile, Lustgarten said he is optimistic that council will ultimately support the vision and is hopeful the project will come to fruition.

“I do believe that most, if not all of them (City councillors) are behind it as well,” he said. “That they believe it’s the right thing to do and they believe it’s a true, positive investment for Red Deer’s future.”

He added that timing is also a key consideration – the committee has emphasized their concerns over rising inflationary costs associated with each year that this project is delayed.

Ultimately, the resolutions and recommendations in the report submitted by the committee are for council’s information and future decision-making.

This information will be used in conjunction with the data gathered from the public on community amenities and the development of the 10-year capital plan.