Public feedback showing support for a new aquatic centre in Summerland, rather than rebuilding or renovate on the same site

Support for new pool build

Summerland council will be reviewing new information and public feedback on the Aquatic and Fitness Centre upgrades on Monday.

District staff will be outlining the Recreation Centre Feasibility and Site Fit Study update, including details from the Recreation Centre consultants.

Community feedback events were reported to be well attended by staff.

Residents could view the project display panels at the Aquatic & Fitness Centre, Arena and District Hall, seeing 492 surveys completed and 44 people attending the in-person open house.

Project consultants have been exploring facility design options at two locations, one at the existing Kelly Avenue site and the other adjacent to the Summerland Arena on Jubilee Road.

According to the report, costing for a 2-storey building at the existing centre on Kelly Avenue would be roughly $38 million, whereas costing for building a single storey building adjacent to the arena on Jubilee Road comes in at $37.4 million. These budgeting cost estimates include construction, project and escalation costs until 2024, excluding GST.

Out of the respondents to the online survey, 82 per cent were in favour of building a new arena at Jubilee Road.

“I like the location and proximity to the arena. Convenient for families to be near multiple children in different activities/sports and easy to access for people who walk,” one respondent said.

The most important factor that stood out to the majority of people was avoiding service interruption for the centre of the roughly two years it would take for renovation or construction.

Other key themes from open-ended comments included the concern over cost, other projects in the District that are more of a priority, a sense of urgency and a desire to keep expansion opportunities open for more amenities in the future.

From the public open house, 17 comments came in for suggestions for amenities to be included in the future recreation centre (indoor walking track, sauna, multiple temperatures in the pools, waterslide or pickleball.)

As staff present findings on Monday, they will move towards the final stages of the project, nearing completion for the study, and it is anticipated that the final report will be presented to council in January.

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