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Regional District of Nanaimo board votes on $20M option for Ravensong pool expansion

Construction projected to begin in 2023
(PQB News file photo)

The Ravensong Aquatic Centre expansion project in Qualicum Beach will cost close to $20M and the plan is start construction in 2023.

The Regional District Board of Nanaimo recently endorsed ‘Option 00’ to be completed in two phases.

The first phase, to be split into three stages, will cost $10.57M. The timeframe to complete this phase is 14 to 18 months and it will include the creation of new changerooms, new reception, lobby, public washrooms, staff support spaces and a new multipurpose room and classroom.

The second phase will cost $9.28M and will see a new lap pool with accessible ramp built and a new steam room and sauna. It will take 16 to 20 months to complete.

However, Parksville’s plan to build a swimming pool, if it advances, will also be considered before second phase can proceed.

READ MORE: RDN Electoral Area E (Nanoose Bay) to contribute to costs of Ravensong Aquatic Centre

Qualicum Beach director Brian Wiese and Electoral Area F director Leanne Salter said it’s time to get this long-overdue project going.

“I understand the phase approach,” said Wiese. “It’s the smart way to do it. There’s no reason why we can’t start as soon as we can on the expansion on the inside or the alterations and renos on the inside. That’s going to happen whether there will be a second tank or not. And that’s been going on long enough, too. So if we try move that forward that would be great. And if Parksville builds a pool, quite frankly I don’t think we would need a second tank.”

RDN staff members have been working to financially plan for and prepare a final conceptual design and construction schedule for the Ravensong expansion. A referendum date to receive the authority to borrow finds for the project is being determined. One option being considered is when local government elections are being held, Oct. 15, 2022.

Although possible, staff indicated conducting a referendum on this date is not recommended.

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Michael Briones

About the Author: Michael Briones

I rejoined the PQB News team in April 2017 from the Comox Valley Echo, having previously covered sports for The NEWS in 1997.
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