Maple Ridge Leisure Centre drains its pools in January to start an extreme overhaul of four-decade old structure. (THE NEWS/Files)

Maple Ridge rents swim time in five cities

Busing, rentals all covered by city, as leisure centre closes for renos

Kids in Maple Ridge swimming clubs will be using five pools in four cities, when the Maple Ridge Leisure Centre closes in January for a year of renovations costing $9 million.

Maple Ridge’s parks, recreation and culture department has secured training time for the Haney Neptunes and the Haney Seahorses at Hyde Creek Recreation Centre in Port Coquitlam, Matsqui Recreation Centre in Abbotsford, W.C. Blair Recreation Centre and the Walnut Grove Community Centre in Langley, and at SFU’s pool in Burnaby.

The plan was presented to council at its Sept. 19 meeting.

Hammond Outdoor Pool also will be extended from two to four months in order to offer more time for swimming lessons, aqua fit and leisure swimming. Staff however are still working out scheduling for the Special Olympics Swim Club.

To make the whole renovation period easier on people, the city is also giving free admission to the Hammond pool for the four months it opens next year. Staff are also checking to see if swimming lessons or water fitness lessons can be offered in private pools.

While swim club members will have to find their own way to the other pools, the city’s helping with transportation costs so seniors, those with disabilities and on low incomes can get to neighbouring pools while students in Grades 5 and 6 will have their passes extended until the leisure centre re-opens, sometime in 2019.

The costs for all the above measures will fall within the money the city usually pays to operate the leisure centre.

The city’s also trying to maintain as many staff as possible until the leisure re-opens.

Council also heard Tuesday about the public reaction to the plan to build a 10-lane outdoor pool near Thomas Haney secondary on 232nd Street.

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