The new downtown Prince George Pool being constructed has received a large financial boost from federal and provincial governments.
The two governments have announced $10 million in funding for the pool, which is the largest Prince George infrastructure investment in a decade. The funding is being provided through the Community Culture and Recreation Infrastructure stream of the Investing in Canada (BC) Infrastructure program.
The total project cost is budgeted to be $42 million which includes $35 million for the pool design and construction, as well as $7 million for the acquisition of the new site and demolition operations, the city says.
“I am pleased to join with the federal government to invest in people and their communities,” B.C. Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing Selina Robinson says in a news release.
“We know that these investments in public spaces, in all regions of the province, will strengthen relationships and promote mental and physical well-being. Working with local governments, Indigenous communities and other partners means that we can continue to deliver the services people count on and need right here in British Columbia.”
The pool will also be connected to the Downtown Renewable Energy System which provides heat from sourced wood waste at the Lakeland Mills.
The city says modelling completed as part of the funding application says heating the pool through the energy system will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 95 per cent compared to if natural gas was used.
“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,” Mayor of Prince George Lyn Hall said in the 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 new pool will be roughly 38,602 square feet and will include:
• 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
One of the more striking visual aspects of the new pool is its “tilted box” design, which allows for the increased height needed to house the waterslide at the southeast end of the building.
The facility then slopes towards the main entrance at Seventh Avenue and Quebec Street, to which the entry plaza will collect water run-off into a rain garden.
The city says crews will be mobilizing on the site of the new pool and starting excavation by the end of the month.
- With files from Hanna Petersen, PrinceGeorgeMatters