Final design of the Vanderhoof Aquatic Centre is now available for all to dive into.
At a public meeting in the District of Vanderhoof council chambers on Nov. 8, special events coordinator Zoe Dhillon and Councillor Brian Frenkel presented to about 20 community members 3-D models, tile samples, and a 3-D interactive rendition of the pool.
The finalized design includes a 25-foot lap pool with six lanes, a leisure pool with lazy river, a 26-person hot tub and sauna, south-facing skylight windows, and change rooms for men, women, and families. Provisions are in place for future recreation additions such as a water slide and climbing wall.
“We are so happy with the final design and plan,” Dhillon said. “We chose the best architect for the community, and it’s a beautiful and functional facility.”
Opening hours and user fees have yet to be determined, and district staff stated that they hope to include night and morning hours on certain days to allow users with varied schedules. Fees are aimed to be set lower than some existing nearby aquatic centres, where a family is charged up to $990 for an annual membership.
Sending the design out to tender on Nov. 15 and hiring contractors by Feb. 4, the district staff hope to have construction break ground by April 2017 and finish in 18 months.
Cost of construction of the final design is estimated at $9.9 million and the district council allocated $11.7 million to allow contingencies.
The aquatic centre’s operating costs are calculated as $580,000 per year, to be covered by current local taxation. To lower the impending loan from taxpayers to cover construction costs, the district council will continue to search for additional funding, Frenkel said.
For Paul Stewart, a member of the committee that brought the Vanderhoof Aquatic Centre to referendum on the municipality loan and tax raise in 2013, the design is futuristic and a distinctive complement to the community.
“I like it,” Stewart said. “The level of recreation it provides for people year-round, rather than seasonally, is a major enhancement.“
“I’m elated that things are moving along; they never go quickly, but are definitely progressing.”
Building entrance will face northwest, accessed through Columbia Street by the Vanderhoof arena. Exterior features include angled designs to contrast the architecture of the surrounding community.
Wood is not incorporated into the structure of the building due to its cost, but cedar slabs will be hung from the ceiling to provide sound insulation and an aesthetic wood feel. Concrete walls will be left exposed inside, as an economical design trendy in other parts of the developed world such as Japan, according to the architect.
Wheelchair accessible ramps are located at the hot tub, leisure pool, and lap pool. For swim meets, the lap pool will include detachable starting blocks and side benches along the perimeter of the building will provide seating. Bleachers require higher, extended outer walls that would incur extra costs. Anti-slip tiles will be used on pool floors.
Water treatment would involve recent technology using sand filters, solid chlorine, and UV rays — Prince George’s pool is slated to switch their system to solid chlorine as a more efficient method. UV rays will help to lower the amount of chlorine required.
More information can be found on Vanderhoof’s district website.