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Decision on Winskill Aquatic Centre to be finalized next week

Council will review options at its March 11 meeting
The Winskill Aquatic & Fitness Centre in Tsawwassen. Optimist file photo

A decision on the long-term fate of the Winskill Aquatic & Fitness Centre in Tsawwassen will be known next week.

But whether it is a retrofit of the current facility or a tear down and a brand-new facility built, the price tag is going to be high.

On Monday, Delta council is set to review options following a staff evaluation of the 47-year-old facility.

Staff are recommending that a new facility be built, as repairs to the existing facility would fall within the same cost range of $120 to $130 million.

“We have extended the life of the facility as much as possible through regular maintenance, but the major mechanical systems are at the end and need to be replaced,” said Jim Bauer, Director of Major Capital Projects. “When you consider that the standards for aquatic centres have also changed over time — especially over 47 years — and that there has been significant growth in the area since the pool was constructed, the current facility no longer meets the community’s needs. This is why staff is recommending a new facility to council.”

The options reviewed in the staff report include a proposal to renew the current facility, which will require extensive rehabilitation. The other option is for a completely new facility that would be built at Winskill Park. The new aquatic centre would include an eight-lane 25-meter lap pool, a leisure pool, a teach pool, one- and three-meter diving boards, as well as a fully equipped fitness centre, gymnasium, and other multi-purpose spaces.

While the report includes a recommendation to build a new recreation facility, decisions about the amenities to be included, as well as design aspects, would still need to be determined. As a result, the report also recommends that council direct staff to engage with residents, swim clubs, and other user groups on these and other key features of the facility.

“We know that there are a number of residents and user groups who are going to be affected by this project and want to provide their input,” said Bauer. “If council wishes to proceed, staff will undertake an engagement process to ensure that the community helps set the plan for this important community amenity.”

Should council endorse the recommendations for a new facility as outlined in the report, staff will proceed with the public engagement process and issue requests for proposals to select a construction manager and an architect.

A plan to fund this project was approved in the 2024 to 28 Financial Plan, resulting in a two per cent recreation capital levy being added to property taxes for recreation capital investment.