New pool complex brings opportunity for downtown swimmers
Halifax regional council votes to build new swimming complex for Halifax Common
November 11, 2021, 4:15 pm ASTLast Updated: November 11, 2021, 5:16 pm
Citizens of downtown Halifax are one step closer to a new outdoor pool complex.
Halifax regional council passed a motion on Tuesday to fund a new $18-million pool and splashpad in the Halifax Common. The project was originally proposed in 2019 at an estimated cost of $15-$17 million. In the motion, the regional councillors agreed to increase the budget by $1.5 million.
The city acknowledges that the state of the current pool is unacceptable.
“The existing aquatic facilities at the Halifax Common are dated, no longer in good condition and no longer meet the needs of the community. This project will replace the existing pool, splashpad, and Pavilion building,” Greg MacKay, manager of building infrastructure, facility design & construction, wrote in a staff report.
The new pool will have a capacity of 450 people and will be about 25 by 48 metres. The deepest part of the pool will be six feet and will include roped-off swimming lanes. The lanes will be for swimmers who want to swim laps. In spite of this, the pool will not be used for swimming competitions.
The staff report on the project says building permits are expected to be issued next spring and construction will begin shortly after. The complex should open “for the 2023 aquatic season.”
The winning bid was submitted by Marco Construction Ltd., an Atlantic Canada-based construction company with experience building public pools. They built the Centennial Beach Pool project in Moncton.
Paul D’Eon is special projects director for Lifesaving Society Nova Scotia, which trains lifeguards across the province. In an interview, D’Eon spoke positively about the project.
“I think it is a great addition particularly to the downtown area. We’re dealing with people with limited transportation and inner-city populations. I think it is going to be a great service for them,” said D’Eon.
The new public pool will be disability accessible, including sloped entry and handrail access to the water. The replacement for the current splash pad will be nature themed.
The project requires demolition of the current pool and splash pad. A nearby playground will be moved closer to the existing skate park. The goal will be to integrate the updated playground into the new complex.
D’Eon said having a new downtown pool is extremely important because swimming is a lifesaving skill, and that makes this project quite valuable compared to other sporting venues.
Council also voted to spend another $100,000 to repair the Centennial pool. Issues with unforeseen soil erosion have led to more leaks in the complex and this money will fund replacement of the waterproofing under the pool’s tiles.
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