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YMCA contracted to develop operating strategy for pool

YMCA of Northern BC hired to look at costs associated with running the new Vanderhoof Aquatic Centre

The District of Vanderhoof (DOV) has hired the YMCA of Northern BC to assist with the development of an Operating Strategy for the new Vanderhoof Aquatic Centre.

The operating strategy will determine the hours of operation, number of employees required, cost structure, programs to be offered, pool equipment required and all safety protocols, school swimming programs, swim clubs, access fees, yearly passes, and all the other operating details.

“We are thrilled to be moving the Vanderhoof Aquatic Centre into its next phase. Now that construction is well under way the District is pleased to be working with the YMCA of Northern BC, with their extensive experience, on developing an operations strategy,” says Mayor Gerry Thiessen.

The local YMCA will be researching options and coming up with a plan on how to operate the pool successfully and ensuring the needs and concerns of local residents are met for the new facility.

For this job the District of Vanderhoof have hired Chris Kinch, YMCA Director of Strategic Projects. He will work as a consultant, based in Prince George, and will come up with a comprehensive proposal of all the costs associated with operating the pool.

“The YMCA has access to best practices from other facilities. For example, the YMCA operates pools in Kelowna and will have learnings from there,” says Zoë Dhillon.

“But it’s important to remember that it is not going to be a YMCA pool. It will still be a Vanderhoof pool. Right now we are not signing an agreement with the YMCA to operate. Right now were only asking them to look at the operations of the pool and develop an operating plan,” continues Zoë Dhillon.

You may see Chris around town talking with residents about the pool, meeting and consulting with the public to find out what programming and hours people are wanting. He will also be trying to get locals interested in aquatic careers.

Staffing needs are different for each aquatic facility but it is anticipated that potential local jobs might include administration, front desk, head of aquatics, maintenance, and five or six life guards. There could be up to 10 employees, possibly as many as 10 new jobs created.

“Please stay tuned for local recruiting and employment opportunities in the near future,” says Zoë Dhillon.

The new facility is slated to open in the Fall of 2018. For more information, please refer to the contact below.

Construction update

Dewatering with the high water table and foundation preparation was successful. Everything is on track and on schedule. Brick walls have gone up for the changeroom walls. The lap pool concrete slab and walls have been formed and poured. The layout for the leisure pool is taking shape, the rebar and forming was poured on Friday. This week the concrete slab of the leisure pool will be poured. The double story room that you see is the mechanical area. Structural steel will be coming in in September and the contractors plan to have the roof on by middle of October.

Local government link:

Contact: Zoë Dhillon, Special Projects Coordinator, 250-567-4711 zoedhillon@

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Artistic rendering of the outside the Vanderhoof Aquatic Centre Image submitted
Photo showing the leisure pool slab rebar. It also provides some perspective for the size of the pool. Photo submitted