The Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) Recreation Commission has its sights set on facility upgrades to the Aquatic Centre amid the current closure caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a press release from the district, the recreation commission endorsed an “ambitious plan” for upgrades on Feb. 9, which would take place during 2021.
According to the CVRD, a facility assessment is currently underway at the Aquatic Centre and there is hope that upgrades will be implemented in the spring and summer months ahead of an anticipated reopening of the facility in fall 2021.
“Our goal this year is to focus on balancing the needs of community safety during COVID-19 and ensure the recreation facilities can manage the pandemic financially to ensure sustainable services in the short and long term,” explains Jennifer Zbinden, Senior Manager of Recreation Services. “We will continue to offer activities at the Sports Centre, which has remained open through the pandemic, while making improvements to the Aquatic Center during the spring and summer.”
The proposed money for the upgrades comes from “maximizing available reserve funds,” according to Zbinden.
“The downtime provides an opportunity for staff to undertake upgrades, which over the longer term will help minimize future closures,” she notes.
Projects identified to improve accessibility and ongoing facility service life at the Aquatics Centre include:
- Upgrading to LED lighting
- Replace ageing epoxy pool deck and change rooms
- Replacement of roof
- Rust remediation on architectural structure and other mechanical upgrades to ensure ongoing service life to the facility and minimize future downtime as determined by assessment
- Replacement of sound system
- Installation of electric vehicle charging station
The current facility assessment is being used to refine these identified project plans and ensure efficient use of available funds during the closure period.
The CVRD points to fall as the time it plans to re-open the Aquatic Centre, suggesting that with seasonal revenues at their lowest, it would currently be too costly to deliver service.
Along with utilizing funds allotted through the district’s budget, the CVRD says that a grant application was submitted in early 2021 for Sports Centre upgrades as well.
“If successful, this grant could provide procurement and project management efficiencies for both facilities, as well as reduce future funding pressures to upgrade and maintain these facilities with ageing infrastructure.”
For more information on the 2021-2025 recreation financial plan visit: www.comoxvalleyrd.ca/currentbudget.