Members of the committee met on Thursday to discuss the next steps for the potential aquatics centre in Golden.                                 (Claire Palmer - Star Photo)

Members of the committee met on Thursday to discuss the next steps for the potential aquatics centre in Golden. (Claire Palmer - Star Photo)

Golden aquatics centre project moving forward

The potential new Aquatic Centre took another step forward on Thursday, Jan. 23, when the advisory committee handling the project hosted a feasibility study meeting with Area A and the Town of Golden.

The meeting was led by a committee comprised of people who live in both Golden and Area A, as well as elected officials from both regions. A consultant was also present.

It was the first meeting that was open to the public on the matter.

“The meeting itself is a testament that the process is moving along,” said Jon Wilsgard, CAO for the Town of Golden. “There’s a qualified consultancy at the helm, and now we can say the project is fully underway.”

The purpose of the meeting was two fold.

First, the committee reviewed and finalized the first planning stage of the project, which was a review of the current system. Titled Technical Memo 1, it explored in depth the current state of the outdoor Aquatics Centre in Golden, while comparing indoor aquatic centres in similar communities across the region.

The document provided general background information on the statistics of the area and the demographics of Golden and Area A.

The second purpose of the meeting was to bring forward a workshop with the advisory committee to stitch together ideas around a vision statement and guiding principles of the project. This was to ensure that the aquatics centre fell in line with what the people of Golden and Area A desire from the centre.

During the second part of the meeting, a specific project related brand was proposed, which is set to be revealed as the project heads into phase two. The associated brand will be used throughout the public engagement period and the remainder of the project.

“We’re moving into phase two, which is more of a needs assessment phase that is now moving out to the general public to ask for input,” said Darcy Moony, manager of operations for the CSRD. “From what I understand there’s excitement in the community about this project and it’s great to be a part of it.”

Next up for the project according to Moony, the committee will be developing a survey to be released along with their website, which will be out from approximately the end of February to the end of March. The purpose will be to gather ideas from the public about what an aquatics centre will look like to them.

There will also be ‘ideas fairs’, which will be public forums for people to come and share their ideas for the centre with the committee in person. The dates and locations of the fairs are still to be announced.

The public engagement will give the consultant the information needed to put together some options and associated costs for the centre. That will take until approximately the end of May or June, according to Moony, which will be followed by another round of surveys and open houses.

Once it is decided if an aquatics centre is feasible in Golden and what it would look like, the project would go to referendum, which would allow the people of Golden and Area A to decide if they support the idea.

“Everything is hypothetical until then,” said Moony. “It’s in the early stages now.”

The members of the public who were presented seemed enthused about the proposed ideas for the centre.

The next meetings is still to be announced, depending on the timeline of the public engagement.