Work will be starting soon on a total rebuild of aquatic part of Maple Ridge Leisure Centre. (THE NEWS/files)

Council looks at bid to start $9.6-million rebuild of Maple Ridge Leisure Centre

Lowest of three bids recommended, work starting soon

The long-awaited process of renovating the Maple Ridge Leisure Centre is about to kick into gear, if council awards a contract to do the work for $9.6-million.

On Tuesday, council is to look at a recommendation to award the contract to Chandos Construction, out of Burnaby, which put in the lowest of three bids.

The work involves a total re-build of the 37-year-old facility, including new pool tanks and decks, pipes, pumps and plumbing, along with new universal changerooms and lobby area.

The project is expected to last 13 month and construction timelines will be determined post-award.

Initially, renovations were supposed to begin last November, but were pushed back to this spring after the first request for proposals had to be re-issued.

While the lobby and aquatics area will be closed during the year-long renovations, the fitness centre, gym and Greg Moore Youth Centre will remain open.

The work will be divided into two parts, $5.5 million for fixing the pools and another $3.5 million for lobby and changeroom improvements.

The latter amount will have to be borrowed and was among the projects approved in the city’s recent alternative approval process.

The changes will provide a “much richer experience for our community,” said Coun. Craig Speirs. “We deserve much more.

“It’s going to be wonderful at the end of the day.”

He likes the feature that will see big doors open the Leisure Centre on to Memorial Peace Park.

The city also has started consulting on a new indoor aquatic centre and may also look at an outdoor pool, though no decisions are close.

Meanwhile, staff are to update a plan created last fall that will allow Maple Ridge residents to use pools in other cities, while the Leisure Centre is closed.

Some parts of that plan included Maple Ridge renting time in the Hyde Creek Recreation Centre in Port Coquitlam swimming pool for members of the Haney Neptunes and Haney Seahorses swim clubs.

Pools at the Matsqui Recreation Centre in Abbotsford, the WC Blair Recreation Centre and Walnut Grove Community Centre in Langley, as well as SFU could also be used.

As well, the Hammond Outdoor Pool season will be expanded from two to four months, to allow for swimming lessons, aqua-fit and competitive swim training.

Admission to Hammond Outdoor Pool will be free for all of 2018.

The city’s also working on a transportation plan to help people get to the other pools and will include discount fees at those other facilities.

As well, fees to the rest of the Leisure Centre will also be reduced, reflecting the fact that the swim facilities are closed.

Closing the Maple Ridge Leisure Centre pools will also mean that some staff will be laid off. Other jobs are being found for some employees within the city.

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