News View: New pool worth a look

All options should be on the table before renovations get underway

Coun. Gordy Robson, has twiced raised the idea of building a new state-of-the-art 50-metre pool, possibly on the city’s downtown property on Selkirk Avenue and 227th Street.

The decision about whether to build a new pool, which could ring in at $30 million, instead of spending $5.5-million to fix up the aging 30-year-old leisure centre pool, is a pressing one because the renovation project is set to begin soon.

But is it worth spending that $5.5M to stretch the lifestyle of an aging structure for another few decades, knowing that a growing Maple Ridge soon will require a second pool?

Or is it much cheaper to have only one much larger first-class competitive pool, in partnership with the YMCA as Robson has suggested, located in the downtown where transit and infrastructure exist and where drainage and ALR issues don’t add to the cost and delay, unlike in the problematic Albion flats?

Residents of Maple Ridge, who’ve long had to settle for second best in many areas, deserve to know.

The leisure centre’s best days are behind it. The building may have been state-of-the-art at one time, now it’s dark, dreary, dated and over capacity. Council at least needs to consider the option and crunch the numbers.

If Robson’s serious about the idea, he should present it to council for a vote so that the rest of council can formally address the issue.

Maple Ridge residents deserve the facts first before another opportunity vanishes.   – The News

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