Maple Ridge has settled on a leafy dell, tucked into a spot below Thomas Haney secondary, as the site for a new, outdoor swimming pool, providing the neighbours are OK with it.
Council, on Tuesday, told staff to ask for bids for designing and building an outdoor, 25-metre pool located along 232nd Street, near Thomas Haney, next to the Maple Ridge Lawn Bowling Club.
It also unanimously approved the start of a year-long public consultation process for a new indoor pool, which could cost up to $70 million.
“I was worried that council would move this forward and not continue forward with the indoor pool, which I think is a very badly needed resource in our community,” Mayor Nicole Read said later.
However, she expects an outdoor pool will be well used.
“We need to do everything we can to try to get this open to cover some of that closure time at the Leisure Centre.”
Council looked at five sites throughout Maple Ridge as possible locations for outdoor pools, including the Hammond Community Centre, but settled on the Thomas Haney site.
Three new artificial sports fields are also about to be built in the area.
A staff report said a new, outdoor pool would cost $6 million, plus land costs. However, the city owns the land in the Thomas Haney location.
“I think it’s good. Our clubs are really happy,” Read said.
Under the motion, approved Monday, the public will be consulted before a request for proposals is drawn up. The consultation process will take about two months, meaning it will be mid-fall when a request for bids to design and build the project could be issued.
Soil studies must also be done, contracts issued, and with an anticipated five-month construction period, work would not start until July 2018.
Council had looked at several spots for a new outdoor pool in an effort to have at another pool in the city open once $9 million in renos begin on the Maple Ridge Leisure Centre pools this January. The pool in Hammond is considered too small and isn’t open in the winter.
Renovations to the Leisure Centre will take at least a year, requiring swimming clubs to leave Maple Ridge to continue their training in other cities.
The Haney Neptunes Aquatic Club had asked that the city build an outdoor pool quickly to allow training space for kids.
Coun. Gordy Robson earlier proposed a motion that would have set a specific time period for an outdoor pool. He still says that Hammond is the best location, with a potential to have 220 parking stalls.
He added that the design-build process, in which the same company does both tasks instead of doing each separately, is faster.
A staff report says that rezoning to allow a pool would be required for all sites.
An outdoor pool would require at least an acre of land for the deck and support buildings about four acres for up to 300 parking stalls.
An indoor aquatic centre had been axed early in July when most on council decided to build a new $20-million rink at Planet Ice, along with the $10-million Albion community centre and smaller rec projects.