The University of British Columbia is announcing detailed plans for its new $39.9-million Aquatic Centre for students, community and high-performance sport.
The new centre will house an Olympic-sized competition pool, 25 metre lap pool, a warm-water family pool with a lazy river, and a large hot tub. The facility will offer a mix of student and community programs, high performance training and competition, student clubs, lessons and drop-in use.
“It’s very rare for an aquatic centre to accommodate so many different users and we are incredibly excited to make this world-class facility available to the community,” says Kavie Toor, associate director of Facilities and Business Development for Athletics and Recreation
The new centre will replace UBC’s current indoor and outdoor pools, which are well used but require major upgrades. UBC Athletics and Recreation concluded that building a new Aquatic Centre would be more financially sustainable than doing extensive renovations and repairs. The new venue is expected to attract a 40 per cent increase from existing usage.
UBC professors and staff will also use the new Aquatic Centre for research into the environmental impact of public swimming pools and to evaluate human health risk and management strategies for public pool chemicals.
UBC’s new Aquatic Centre will be built next to War Memorial Gym on MacInnes Field. Site preparations are expected to start in the coming weeks with construction beginning in late July. The facility is expected to open in September 2016.
The facility is designed by Toronto’s MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects and local architects Acton Ostry. The innovative design includes significant natural light, generous deck space, viewing areas, and recreational and competition pools.
Highlights of the new Aquatic Centre
- Olympic-sized 10-lane competition pool with a moveable bulkhead. The bulkhead can split the pool into two smaller pools at any point along its length for community programming.
- An 8-lane 25 meter lap pool for community recreational use
- A 350-square-metre shallow family pool. This warm-water pool will be a family fun zone with lots of toys and a safe place to learn to swim.
- A family-friendly zone including a lazy river, fountains, geysers, and a configuration for water basketball and volleyball.
- Hot tub for up to 35 people that can also be used for rehabilitation
- Large skylights to let in lots of natural light
- Seating for 500 and space to add more seating for special events
- Close to 1,500 square metres of deck space
- Large change room facilities with family and individual change spaces
- Infrastructure for moveable floor systems in the 25m tank, steam room, sauna and hydro therapy room for future development
- Small coffee and food service kiosk with a small retail space
- Space for athlete support services support, such as massage therapy
Current Aquatic Centre
The current Aquatic Centre will continue to serve the UBC community and public until the new centre is complete. The facility was first built in 1976 and is reaching the end of its lifespan. UBC is conducting a full engineering audit to assess maintenance needs and make upgrades to ensure the pool remains fully operational until the new Aquatic Centre is complete. Maintenance shutdowns for periods of three to five weeks will be scheduled regularly, but some unexpected shutdowns may occur. Once the new pool is opened, the current centre will be decommissioned and demolished and replaced by a new MacInnes Field.
Editors: Artist’s renderings of the new Aquatic Centre can be viewed and downloaded here