A sketch of what a potential Aquatic facility would look like in the area. (CSRD photo).

CSRD moves forward with Aquatic Centre referendum

The referendum is planned to be held in fall of 2022

Plans for a new $31.2 million aquatic centre are moving forward.

At the The Columbia Shuswap Regional District (CSRD) board meeting May 20, the board directors adopted a plan to host a referendum on the proposal.

The referendum will determine whether residents of Electoral Area A and the Town of Golden will fund the development of a new indoor aquatic centre, the vote to be held in conjunction with the next local government election Oct. 15, 2022.

CSRD staff will now start preparations and community consultation needed for a referendum.

“Residents of the community are asking us to move forward, to support the process and go to the next stage,” said Karen Catchart, Electoral Area A director.

“There is a lot of work to do to raise funds, get sponsorships and grants.

“Moving towards a referendum is the best opportunity for this to become a reality.”

A referendum is necessary as the CSRD will have to borrow funds in order to build the facility.

In the fall of 2019, the CSRD hired HCMA Architecture + Design to carry out a feasibility study that included receiving input from the community. The study determined priorities around functional programming, guiding principles, and vision for a new indoor aquatic centre.

The overall goal was to ensure that a potential facility is anchored to the needs and identity of the community.

READ MORE: Aquatics centre survey wraps up

The final report was received at the May 20 meeting, which outlines the extensive community consultation process leading to a determination of preferred options for the facility.

Those options include a six-lane lap pool, a leisure pool, sauna and steam room, hot pool and multipurpose room.

The report includes a design plan that adds on to the current arena facility, as well as construction and operational cost estimates.

The proposed site contains the arena, curling rink (both to remain) and the current outdoor pool (to be removed).

The report says the location aligns well with the overall goal of creating a centralized community hub, and a centre of activity that includes a range of both indoor and outdoor programming uses

The entire report, as well as other documents, can be viewed at the goldenondeck.ca website.

Preliminary designs have been completed to help define the $31.2 million cost.

The CSRD, with the continued involvement of a local working group, will be exploring opportunities to reduce costs to the taxpayers through grants, business donations and other fundraising activities.

This service area includes all properties within Golden and Electoral Area A, where properties in Golden pay approximately 52.5 per cent and properties in Electoral Area A pay 47.5 per cent of the total costs.

According to the technical briefing from HCMA Architecture + Design, over $1.3 million in repairs and replacements will be required by 2026 for the current outdoor pool, which was built in 1978.

Community engagement kicked off in 2020 and has been ongoing for nearly a year, with an interactive online survey and open houses for information and feedback.

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