Aldergrove is getting a covered pool.
Township council voted unanimously Monday afternoon to approve a $1.57 million canopy to cover the outdoor pool at the new Aldergrove Recreation Centre (ARC).
Structural enhancements to the base building and the footings for the canopy were approved in December, 2015, and council was given until the end of February to decide whether additional money should be spent to build a canopy now, or at a later date.
Coun. Michelle Sparrow commented that the addition will be “very beneficial” for both swimmers and parents watching their kids, as it will create shade in the hot summer sun and a protective cover during rainy days.
“I think it will really extend the use of the pool,” Sparrow said.
“(It will be) something that is worth investing in for the long run of the facility and the public will really see value in it.”
But with the ARC budget at $26 million already, and the footings costing $280,000, Coun. Angie Quaale said she is concerned with the amount of money being spent. She suggested that council wait two seasons and revisit the idea after the pool has had some use.
“I’m really struggling to support this investment, I mean with the footings and everything this is almost a $2 million cover, which amounts to almost a 10 per cent increase on the entire building — and that’s a significant investment,” she said.
“I’d like to see it come back to council after we’ve had an opportunity to use the facility for a couple years and see how necessary this is.”
Coun. Bob Long said that consultants warned them of “the dangers of phasing,” and that waiting could mean the canopy never does get built.
“You’re probably better off — if it’s a good idea — to do it up front,” he said.
Coun. David Davis agreed.
“I think we need to do it now,” he said.
“We need to finish this up. We need to get the pool there in Aldergrove, and it was a priority from council. I think we need to get ’er done.”
Construction of the ARC is set to begin this summer, with the official opening in May, 2018.
In addition to the six-lane, 25 metre outdoor pool, there will also be a two-level, 550-seat arena, a fitness centre, an indoor walking track, multipurpose rooms and an outdoor water park with water slides, a tidal pool, current channel, children’s aqua structure, playground and picnic area.
Coun. Blair Whitmarsh was absent from the vote.