Artist's drawing of planned Aldergrove Recreation Centre.

Council unveils new Aldergrove recreation centre

Destination facility planned for all Township residents

Township of Langley residents will have a new recreation centre in Aldergrove, beginning in May of 2018.

This new Township facility will feature a two-level, 550-seat arena and events space, a fitness centre, walking surface, multi-purpose rooms, and an outdoor aquatic facility featuring a six-lane 25 metre pool, waterslides, a tidal pool, current channel, childrens’ aqua structure, picnic areas, and large playground.

Plans for the Aldergrove Recreation Centre were announced by Mayor Jack Froese and members of Township of Langley Council during a special unveiling event held at the Aldergrove Kinsmen Community Centre on Wednesday, June 17.

The new recreation complex and aquatic facility has been approved for construction on the former Aldergrove Elementary School site at 27032 Fraser Highway, and is scheduled to be completed in 2018.

The facility was unanimously approved by Township Council, after years of planning, research, consultation, and community input. Council and staff have worked extensively to plan and design a one of a kind facility, and it is great news for all residents that the facility will be accommodated within existing Township budget envelopes.

The budget for construction of the project is $25.789 million.

Of the $25.789 million required to build the complex, $24.589 million will be funded by land sales, primarily from the sale of surplus Township properties in East Langley. A further $1.2 million will be funded by Township operations surpluses.

“The centre will provide leisure and recreation activities for people of all ages and interests, all year round,” said Township of Langley Mayor Jack Froese. “The centre has been planned and designed to be unique and provide something that Township residents cannot experience elsewhere, and to complement and add to the already extensive inventory of recreation and aquatic opportunities available in the Township.”

“Residents of all ages will come to Aldergrove to enjoy the diverse nature of this new facility, which will become a significant attraction for downtown Aldergrove,” Froese said. “It will allow Aldergrove residents to ‘play local’, and will create a destination that will not only attract thousands of visitors to the community, but will be a step towards the revitalization of Aldergrove’s downtown core and enhancing economic development in the area.”

The outdoor aquatic facility will replace the 50 year old Aldergrove outdoor pool with a six-lane, 25-metre outdoor leisure pool that will be open year round and has the capacity to accommodate swim clubs.

The environmentally-friendly complex is planned to convert the energy produced from cooling the ice in the arena to heat the pool in the fall and winter, meaning people can swim laps, take lessons, and participate in aquafit all year round. The year-round features will also include two hot tubs, a large playground similar in scope and size to the one at Willoughby Community Park near the Langley Events Centre, and picnic and seating areas.

From May to September, the complex will help replace the missing Aldergrove Lake experience, featuring a tidal pool, a current channel that people can walk or float around, a water slide tower with body and tube slides, and a childrens’ aqua structure.

The seasonal outdoor features will also be opened between October and April for special events such as Halloween, Christmas holidays, Family Day, and Spring Break.

The Aldergrove Recreation Centre will also replace the Aldergrove Community Arena, which is facing significant capital expenditures in upcoming years. Staff and consultants have determined that it makes economic sense to replace the old Aldergrove Community Arena and enhance it with a new exciting arena and events space.

The new two-level community arena and events space will feature an ice surface and dry floor, a walking surface around the perimeter on the second level, and seating for approximately 550, which will enhance the experience of playing and watching sports and events in Aldergrove. The Aldergrove Kodiaks hockey team will have a dedicated team room and office, and change rooms and community sport offices for Aldergrove Minor Hockey and Aldergrove Figure Skating will also be provided.

The new Aldergrove Recreation Centre will also feature a fitness centre and weight room, with a wood sprung floor room and multi-purpose room similar to those in Willoughby Community Centre and Willowbrook Recreation Centre.

The desire to build a new facility in Aldergrove has been discussed since 1991.

“After years of discussions with user groups and the public, council has taken a direction for the project that will provide opportunities for enjoyment for as many people as possible,” said Froese. “The scope and features found in this facility mean it will be used by people from throughout the community, and the region, for generations to come. The facility will be a great place to bring young and old alike, to play as a family, to enjoy sports and events, be healthy and active, or to just relax and have fun.”

Site work on the new facility will begin this summer.

The 100 year old Aldergrove Elementary heritage building may also be re-located, possibly to Philip Jackman Park adjacent to the existing outdoor pool. It has been determined that restoration of the building and upgrades to fit within the new recreation complex, along with removal of asbestos, will cost in excess of $2 million, while relocating the building to a new foundation at the park is estimated to cost $1 million.

Alder Grove Heritage Society spokesman Erik Simonson is pursuing senior government funding for the school relocation project, which would see the society operate the building as a museum and cultural centre alongside its existing Telephone Museum across the street from Philip Jackman Park.

As part of the project, the Township will also be completing community transportation upgrades prior to the facility’s opening, including the installation of a traffic signal at 270 Street and Fraser Highway, a pedestrian crosswalk at 270A Street and 29 Avenue, and road and sidewalk enhancements leading into the facility from Fraser Highway and 29 Avenue.

Township residents will have a chance to find out more about the project and see everything that will be featured in the complex at a number of public information sessions. Sessions will be held at the Township of Langley Civic Facility on Thursday, June 18 from 2 to 7 p.m.; at the Aldergrove Kinsmen Community Centre on Saturday, June 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and again at the Aldergrove Kinsmen Community Centre on Tuesday, June 23 from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., 2 to 4 p.m., 6 to 9 p.m.

Further opportunities to review the project will be offered during Aldergrove during Aldergrove Festival Days, July 17 to 19, and again in the fall.

Information is also available on the Township’s website at tol.ca/.

‘Time is right now’ for Aldergrove pool complex, says mayor

At a briefing for local media on Tuesday morning at the Township civic facility, mayor Jack Froese and Township General Manager Jason Winslade said work on building the scaled-down design will begin right away.

At $26 million, the facility will cost less than half the estimated $55 million price of the previous design.

“We are looking to fund this with Township funds, not tax dollars,” Froese said.

Winslade said the reduced cost means the Township will not have to seek approval for any more potentially-controversial sales of surplus land to raise the necessary money.

Money was saved by going with an outdoor pool instead of an indoor pool and demolishing the school rather than upgrading it to modern standards.

Froese said there were “challenges” to preserving the school, including the need to strip it of asbestos.

The school will be “deconstructed” this summer, Winslade said.

Asked how he would respond to criticism about the change from an indoor pool, Froese said there were two other indoor pools in the Township, and the year-round outdoor pool coupled with the wave pool and water park would offer something “truly unique.”

The pool has been designed so it could be enclosed at a future date, the mayor added.

Froese said the reduced cost allows the municipality to build a facility now, rather than waiting until it finds more funds.

“Do we build something today or do we wait another 20 years?” Froese said.

Council voted unanimously to approve the plan during a closed-door meeting, the mayor said.

He called it “a step towards revitalizing Aldergrove’s downtown core.”

If all goes well, the pool and water park will open in May of 2018, followed a few months later by the arena.

Site plan of Aldergrove Recreation Centre.

View of planned aquatic facility at Aldergrove Recreation Centre.

Planned new ice arena/events centre at Aldergrove Recreation Centre.

Aldergrove Recreation Centre backgrounder

The new Aldergrove Recreation Centre, which will be built at 27032 Fraser Highway, will feature:

Year Round

• Two-level Community Arena and Events space with:

• ice surface / dry floor

• walking surface around the perimeter on the second level

• seating for approximately 550 to enhance the experience of playing and watching sports and events in Aldergrove

• change rooms

• community sport offices for Aldergrove Minor Hockey Association and Aldergrove Figure Skating Club

• team room and office dedicated for the Aldergrove Kodiaks hockey team

• Fitness Centre, Weight Room, wood sprung floor room, and multi-purpose room similar to those in Willoughby Community Centre and Willowbrook Recreation Centre

• Six-lane, 25-metre outdoor leisure pool that has the capacity to accommodate swim clubs

• The environmentally-friendly complex is planning to convert the energy produced from cooling the ice in the arena to heat the pool in the fall and winter, meaning people can swim laps, take lessons, and participate in aquafit classes all year round

• Two hot tubs

• Large playground similar in scope and size to the one at Willoughby Community Park near the Langley Events Centre

• Picnic and seating areas throughout

Seasonal

• Aquatic waterpark featuring:

• tidal pool

• current channel

• waterslide tower with body and tube slides

• children’s aqua structure

• The seasonal outdoor features will be open May to September, and also be opened between October and April for special events such as Halloween, Christmas holidays, Family Day, and Spring Break

Budget

• The project construction budget is $25.789 million:

• $24.589 million will be funded by land sales, primarily from surplus Township properties in East Langley

• $1.2 million will be funded by Township operations surpluses

• The Township will also be completing community transportation upgrades including:

• installation of a traffic signal at 270 Street and Fraser Highway

• pedestrian crosswalk at 270A Street and 29 Avenue

• road and sidewalk enhancements leading into the facility from Fraser Highway and

29 Avenue

Project Schedule

• Site work will begin this summer

• Project completion scheduled for May of 2018

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