Prince George is arguably undergoing a major transformation with new construction popping up all over the city.
One of the biggest facilities that will change the face of downtown is the new leisure pool.
We are finally getting a look at what Prince George’s newest attraction will look like as the city unveiled the designs at a public information session today (Feb. 20).
“This project for us has never just been about a swimming pool,” says Mark Hentze, Vice-President with HDR Architects.
“We really wanted to build and express was the values and character of Prince George.”
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.
“In terms of the exterior expression of the building, we wanted it to look robust and durable and to look very much like a public building,” says Hentze.
“We have a sloping roof form to give it a bit of an evocative shape and get attention but that sloping roof form speaks to the flow of water and this building gets snow and rain on it and that is going to need to go somewhere so it’s been considered form an aesthetic and technical view.”
Although the new pool will be a similar size to the current Four Seasons Pool across the street, it's jam-packed with new features.
It 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
- Three barrier-free shower rooms with ceiling lifts
- A sauna and steam room
- Two classrooms
- A comfortable viewing area
Each of the pools will have shallow entries and “pool pods” to help people with mobility devices enter, while the main leisure pool will feature a gradual entry from zero depth.
Accessible change rooms
Another modern upgrade the new pool will have is universal accessible change rooms.
“Where the current Aquatic Centre has a modest set of family or universal change rooms this building is going to be predominantly family or universal change rooms, so that means any one of us would have multiple ways we can change by ourselves with family or with people who need assistance,” says Hentze.
“That is one of the biggest things that people will see is a very modern approach to change rooms, which will give everyone in the community their own modern degree of privacy and dignity that they need at a pool like this.”
Each pool is also designed to have the shallowest end anchored around a “spine” so that swimmers can access each pool through this main point, and won’t have to walk around the deck to get to a different tank which allows for increased safety and ease of use.
“I think the community is going to be getting really excited about what is coming,” says City Manager of Aquatics Jim Worthington.
“I’m excited about all of the accessibility features, for example, the universal change room has 18 private rooms and three of those rooms are what we call barrier-free so fully accessible for people with disabilities.”
He says although the new pool is of similar size to the Four Season’s swimming pool, with all of the upgraded features the two pools aren’t that comparable.
“There’s a lot more increased pool space for swimming lessons and for children’s and for seniors and people who want to do therapy and of course everyone is excited about the waterslide.”
Tour the new pool in 3D Online
At the public info session which takes place today, 12 p.m. and 5 p.m. at the Prince George Civic Centre, visitors will have the chance to view the new pool for themselves through virtual reality glasses.
However, for those who can’t make the session in person the virtual reality designs for the new pool are available online.
You can take a tour of the:
The city expects the new pool to open to the public by Summer 2022.