The Ravensong Aquatic Centre expansion project in Qualicum Beach will proceed as planned.
The Oceanside Services Committee, at its meeting on June 10, unanimously endorsed the recommendation that the design, project planning and financial planning for the Ravensong pool proceed with the assumption that there will be a need for a second pool tank in the future.
General manager of recreation and parks, Tom Osborne, said the aim is to go ahead with some of the proposed expansion plans and hold off on the creation of the second pool while the City of Parksville develops its proposed recreation centre and sportsplex that will include an aquatic centre.
The committee also passed a motion to continue the Ravensong project with a target start date of 2023.
Kate Busby of FaulknerBrowns Architects made a presentation that highlighted four options for a phased expansion. The committee narrowed it down to two choices.
The first one is the original option that will be completed in two phases, at a cost of $19,857,100. The second choice has a price tag of $17,554,500.
The first phase will feature creation of new changerooms, lobby, reception, public washrooms, staff support spaces, multi-purpose room and classroom.
The second phase involved the creation of new four-lane, 25-metre pool with ramp entry, adding a new water area of 280 square metres. A new steam and sauna room will also be built.
The difference between the two is the original option will feature 100 per cent new additions while the other will would be 73 per cent new and 27 per cent renovated.
Committee chair and Qualicum Beach Mayor Brian Wiese favoured getting phase one moving as it will take a significant amount of time to complete — 14 to 18 months.
The second phase, he pointed out, is not happening anytime soon as it will depend on the Parksville pool project.
Busby said if Parksville’s proposed aquatic centre happens in the future, based on its master plan, it will effectively fulfill the need of residents in Parksville Qualicum Beach and may not require phase two of the Ravensong project.