The $42 million replacement of the Four Seasons Pool in downtown Prince George is getting a $10 million boost from Ottawa and Victoria.
The funding is being provided from the Community Culture and Recreation Infrastructure stream of the Investing in Canada (BC) Infrastructure Program.
“Council wishes to extend its sincere thanks to the federal and provincial governments for their incredible funding support and is proud that our proposal attracted the highest-possible grant amount through this funding program,” said Prince George Mayor Lyn Hall, in a news release. “The new pool will be a showpiece for our downtown; it will enhance accessibility to recreation programs, and provide jobs both in construction and operation. Due to our innovative Downtown Renewable Energy System, the new pool will also be energy-efficient and an exceptional example for British Columbia and Canada on how to provide aquatic services with renewable energy in a northern community.”
The total project cost is budgeted to be $42 million: $35 million for the pool design and construction, as well as $7 million for the acquisition of the new site and demolition operations. City residents, in a referendum, approved borrowing up to $35 million for the project by 62.48 per cent (4,923 yes to 2,926 no) in 2017 which, assuming the project does not go over budget, will presumably mean the city won’t have to borrow the full $35 million. However, that choice will be up to city council.
The new pool will be connected to the city’s Downtown Renewable Energy System (DRES), which provides heat sourced from wood waste at Lakeland Mills. Modelling conducted as part of the funding application indicated that heating the new pool with the DRES will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 95 per cent compared to if it was heated with natural gas, according to the city.
The new downtown pool will be approximately 3,588 square metres (38,602 square feet) and will be built on Seventh Avenue, between Dominion and Quebec Streets. The new pool will be accessible, with aquatic activities available for all ages and abilities:
• A six lane, 25-metre lap pool.
• A four lane, 25-metre teaching pool with warmer water and shallow depth.
• A leisure pool with a lazy river, beach entry, and play features.
• A large waterslide with a run-off lane.
• Dedicated male and female change rooms, as well as a large universal change room.
• Sauna and steam room
• Rooms for lessons and training
Crews will be mobilizing on the site of the new pool and starting excavation by the end of the month. HDR Architecture and Chandos Construction are leading the design and construction process.