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Aldergrove rec center pool plans debated
The debate over plans for a new Aldergrove recreation facility continues at a public information meeting this Sunday.
The meeting, hosted by the Aldergrove Recreation and Pool Society, takes place on April 7, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at the Aldergrove Legion Hall.
The society is lobbying the Township of Langley to increase the proposed size and depth of the swimming pool. Spokesperson Joanne Nicolatto says their surveys “overwhelmingly show that Aldergrove wants to see a 50-metre, eight-lane, deep-ended pool,” as opposed to a proposed 25-metre, six-lane, five foot deep pool.
Nicolatto says that eight lanes will enable multiple user groups to use the facility at the same time as well as allow competitions. A deep end is also required for diving and higher levels of swim lessons.
Nicolatto says their survey showed that 99 per cent of people polled want a pool in Aldergrove, and of these 68 per cent want a 50-metre pool, while 19 per cent want a 25-metre pool.
The Township’s proposal for the former Aldergrove Elementary School site also includes a second pool for wading, a new larger library, a new ice arena, a larger exercise and weights room, meeting rooms and 200-car parking lot. The expanded facility would replace the existing Aldergrove Arena and Kinsmen Community Centre and Library, and these older facilities would either be rented or sold for other uses.
The Township is aiming for construction work to be undertaken in 2015, once plans and funding measures have been approved.
Partnerships with community groups such as the Aldergrove Elks club are also being sought by the Township, as has been done in other Township facilities planning.
NEW REC CENTRE WILL TRANSFORM ALDERGROVE
The new recreation complex planned for downtown Aldergrove will change the face of this community.
Langley Township council is still debating the details of the proposals, based on public and consultants' input, but has made a commitment to begin the construction work on the $35 million project in early 2015.
The Township acquired the five acre site, the former Aldergrove Elementary School, this year and plans to retain the century-old "heritage school" building, which would be renovated for use as a new, larger community library.
The Township's "option 3" plan would see construction of a new ice arena on the south side of the old school, along with a fitness centre that would offer the popular exercise and weight equipment as well as yoga and pilates programs and classes. The arena site would be excavated so that the ice surface was sunken, allowing level access to the 400-seat viewing area. This is also for aesthetic reasons, so that neighboring residents would not see a two-storey arena wall. There would also be meeting rooms in this area.
Plans call for a public swimming pool on the west side of the old school, and there would be three water features: a hot tub; a small leisure pool that would have warmer water preferred by youngsters and seniors as well as two 20-metre lap lanes; and a larger pool that would have somewhat cooler water. The exact configuration of the larger pool has not been decided yet, but would be a minimum of 25-metres length.
A consultant's report on the costs and options for the main pool will be received by council by the end of April, and will provide details on various pool lengths, numbers of swimming lanes and a deep end for diving and competition use.
There would also be a main lobby-foyer that would provide public access to all of the facilities, and a 215-vehicle parking lot in the south-west corner of the lot.
Councillor Charlie Fox said Township council is not inclined to building the facility in phases as it would create logistical problems and increase costs, and is committed to having the first shovel in the ground by spring of 2015 so that it would be completed and open to the public by 2016.