The long awaited Otter Co-op Outdoor Experience, located at the yet unfinished Aldergrove Credit Union Community Centre, opened its doors on Friday to the delight of children and adults alike.
The facility, designed by Whitewater, a company with strong roots in British Columbia but with what has become a world wide reputation for innovative water park design, is fun and exciting and incorporates a little bit of something for every age and interest.
“When Township of Langley Council announced the creation of a new recreation centre in Aldergrove in the summer of 2015, we knew it would be something special, a facility unlike anything else,” said Township of Langley Mayor Jack Froese. “The reality has vastly surpassed our imaginations. ‘Wow’ and ‘phenomenal’ are the words people keep using to describe it and we can’t wait for everyone to experience all that this unique facility has to offer.”
And unique it is.
While the Otter Co-op Outdoor Experience does feature a six-lane, competitive lap pool (complete with deep end diving boards) and leisure pool within its grounds, those traditional aspects of the facility are only a small part of the overall experience.
The center of the complex is dominated by a two storey high water play structure built with a circus theme in mind. That structure’s highlight is the gigantic popcorn bucket at the top that, every three minutes fills with hundreds of gallons of water and tips to send a deluge down on the squealing children (and adults) below.
Beside the play structure, a wave pool offers high adventure with whitecap breaking waves that swimmers can brave while perched upon their personal tube floats.
Those same floats are in use on the three large water slides on the site.
For those with a more sedentary bent, the same tubes can also be used to relax while drifting down an extensive lazy river feature.
And while the pool is heated (it uses energy produced through the cooling plant at the adjacent arena) those who want to really warm up after their adventures in the park can dip into the huge hot tub feature at the Outdoor Experience.
“I am excited to see the completion of this vibrant community gathering space for young and old alike,” said John Aldag, Member of Parliament for Cloverdale–Langley City. “This community centre represents a collaboration of community partners and all orders of government, including a nearly $10 million investment by the federal government. It is a truly valuable asset for all citizens of the Langley community.”
Aldag joined Froese, Langley Council members, and representatives of Otter Co-op and the Aldergove Credit Union for an initial dumping of the popcorn bucket water feature. They were also joined by a collection of local children whose reactions to the initial flood of water from the water feature was everything one could hope for.
“The ACUCC is not just an arena and recreation facility, it is also outdoor pools and a water park, a unique combination,” said Rob Stare, Township of Langley Community Recreation Manager. “Because it is so unique and we have never operated anything quite like this, we literally need to test the waters. We have to ensure staff are properly trained and all safety measures are in place, and we will process the feedback we receive from the public as we go along.”
For the next two weeks, test swims will be done at the centre, and regular public swims will begin Monday, July 16.
To sign up for test swims, visit tol.ca/news/acucc.
provide, and we can’t wait to use the facilities ourselves.”