The latest pool plans were unveiled and discussed by councillors of the District of Vanderhoof as well as members of the public on November 18.
Bruce Carscadden, the architect and lead designer for the aquatic centre presented to council a number of sketches and preliminary blueprints of possible pool designs.
“It’s good to be able to look and feel and touch designs as we move into the fundraising portion of our work,” said councillor and acting mayor Ken Young.
Carscadden told council about a tour he took of similar facilities in and around Vancouver that ranged in age from brand new to 20 years old.
Most of the discussion during the tour and at council was on whether to build a six or four lane lap pool. This lap pool will be in addition to the leisure pool which is where, Carscadden pointed out, up to 80 per cent of people will be going.
Councillor Steve Little and Vanderhoof CAO Evan Parliament were also at these meetings along with the Director of Aquatics in Vancouver and other knowledgable parties.
Parliament told council that in order to have real and competitive swim meets, the people he has talked to recommend building a six lane pool. But having a six lane pool could increase operating costs for the facility by up to 30 per cent.
Councillor Little said at council that the impressions he was given from the meetings in Vancouver was that four lanes would be sufficient for a town of Vanderhoof’s size. With the facilities in Prince George close and with only one or two swim meets a year, keeping everything shallow and long instead of deep and short was the recommendation.
Council did not land one way or the other on the matter of pool lanes. There are costs and losses for both options that need to be considered.
Another topic that was debated was the inclusion of second floor mult-purpose rooms and fitness spaces. Some councillors and members of the public felt that the mult-purpose spaces in the arena nearby were more than sufficient for Vanderhoof.
Some felt that money could be saved if people used other fitness centres in Vanderhoof instead of building new ones in the aquatic centre. Carscadden pointed out that fitness centres are often a significant source of revenue for aquatic centres.
There were no votes or decisions made on the pool, the council meeting was for strategic planning purposes.