Residents of Vanderhoof will soon be able to swim and relax at the Vanderhoof Aquatic Centre.
The pool is scheduled to open Jan. 26. The district hopes the centre will help attract and retain people in the community.
“It’s incredibly exciting. My grandchildren who are in grade 2 and 3, are just thrilled that this would be an option they will have. Then right up to seniors, we are talking to people in their 70s and 80s and they are going like ‘this is an option we have been waiting for so long’,” said Gerry Thiessen, Mayor of Vanderhoof.
The new facility has a six-lane, 25-metre lap pool, a 1500-sq. ft leisure pool and a 35-person hot tub. There is sauna and an aquatic climbing wall at the facility as well and all pools are equipped with ramp entry, read a press release received Jan. 18.
The project cost $12 million, out of which the Government of Canada contributed $7.4 million through the federal Gas Tax fund. The rest of the money came from a $3 million loan, $1 million from the Vanderhoof Community Forest, community fundraising, numerous supporters and the District of Vanderhoof, stated the release.
“Council is grateful that the taxpayers of Vanderhoof have shown such strong support for this project. From the referendum (77.4 percent approval), [in 2013] to the over $600,000 raised by the community, this project would not have been possible without the community’s support.”
The general contractor for the project was Greyback Construction Ltd from Penticton, B.C. Whereas the design was provided by a Vancouver based architecture firm called Carscadden Stokes McDonald Architects Inc.
The YMCA of Northern B.C. will manage and operate the aquatic centre.
“I want to acknowledge the tremendous efforts of the District of Vanderhoof, mayor and council for building this amazing facility which I have no doubt will be a place for so many community members to get healthy and active…,” said Amanda Alexander, CEO of the YMCA.
The district is holding a formal opening in front of the Vanderhoof Aquatic Centre at 10:30 am on Jan. 26 and everyone is invited.
Thiessen said a lot of hard work has been done by people in the community whether it’s councillors, committee members and volunteers who raised funds. “It has taken a lot of commitment from those individuals, commitment from people who donated to the pool, so all around it is a really exciting time for Vanderhoof,” he said.