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City council will hear a presentation during Monday’s governance priorities committee meeting regarding the concept design of the planned aquatic centre.

The report, which is available in the City of Yellowknife’s governance and priorities committee meeting package, provides four options for the pool that include a 25-metre six-lane pool, a 25-metre eight-lane pool, a 52-metre six-lane pool and a 52-metre eight-lane pool.

The 25-metre pool option concept design shows the footprint of a new aquatic centre next to the existing Ruth Inch Memorial Pool.
Image sourced from the Nov. 16 governance and priorities committee package

A proposed location has also been identified “directly east of the Ruth Inch Memorial Pool, at the old pitch and putt location.” The other option considered is between the Multiplex and Fieldhouse.

Mayor Rebecca Alty said Monday’s meeting will be the first opportunity for council to view the report and direct questions to city staff.

The document will be brought back again in the new year for a more formal discussion at another governance and priorities committee meeting, followed by a final vote at a regular council.

“So (Monday) will be a fairly first crack at this document because it is quite an extensive document with a couple of hundred pages, including appendices,” Alty said. “Whether councillors will be prepared to say which way they are leaning (for pool options) is tough to say, but it will provide council the opportunity to ask questions and for residents to be more informed.”

Consultants TAG/MJMA have recommend in the document proceeding with eight lanes “for either a 25m- or 52m-length pool,” according to the executive summary.

The TAG/MJMA consultant team for the aquatic centre concept design is recommending that council approve an eight-lane pool, either at a 25-metre or 52-metre length. Council is not expected to make a final decision until the new year.
Image sourced from the Yellowknife Aquatic Centre – Design Concept Report

The concept design report provides results from September public consultations that included three in-person events and a four question survey.

The survey, which reflects input from 427 respondents, showed a majority of support for a 52-metre option and a list of priorities for amenities and features that a new pool should have, such as a waterslide.

Looking ahead

According to the report, a design-builder is expected to be selected in August 2021.

The municipality will hold a public referendum in October 2021 to approve the city borrowing money for the project, which is expected to range from $38.2 million to $49.8 million, with $12.9 million coming from the federal government.

In both cases, the municipality allows for a 25 per cent margin of error in its estimates at this early stage. At maximum, that could drive the cost of a larger pool to more than $62 million.

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Simon Whitehouse

Simon Whitehouse came to Yellowknife to work with Northern News Services in 2011. A through and through "County boy" from Prince Edward County, Ont., Simon obtained his journalism education at Algonquin...

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