Outdoor pool in Maple Ridge back on, for now

Council asks for feasibilty report on Hammond site

Maple Ridge rec staff are going to take a second look to see if there’s enough room in Hammond Community Centre for an outdoor pool.

Council voted 6-1 Tuesday, asking staff for a more detailed report on the feasibility of building a 25-metre, outdoor pool, that would replace the aging, 23-metre pool currently in place. Coun. Kiersten Duncan voted against.

Previously council had rejected the idea, then reconsidered it after Coun. Tyler Shymkiw asked to have it brought back to council.

Staff are expected to bring back a report confirming or negating whether there’s enough room in that location for a new, portable pool and extra parking.

“We asked staff to bring us back a more information and whether it will fit,” said Coun. Bob Masse.

He’ll then make his decision whether to proceed based on that report. “There obviously has to be some community and neighbourhood consultation,” said Masse. And he added that proceeding with an outdoor pool doesn’t mean that Maple Ridge is giving up on an indoor aquatic facility. A majority of council recently rejected putting at $70-million aquatic centre among the list for rec projects that to go to public assent this fall.

“In the future, we’re going to need a bigger and more expensive facility,” Masse said.

Coun. Gordy Robson said there is enough room at Hammond to put in a 10-lane, 25-metre competitive pool, within months and providing a place for local swim clubs to train.

If it’s built, it could become a major competitive swimming facility in the region.

The new pool could also be built in concert with renovations already planned for washrooms and changerooms at the community centre.

Staff though are recommending that the award of a pool go through a formal bidding process to ensure it complies with the city’s purchasing policy. That whole process could take more than a year.

Maple Ridge’s Leisure Centre and its two pools closes in November for a year-long, $10-million renovation.

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