It could cost anywhere between $16.5 million and $88 million for the City of Courtenay and Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) to care for its aquatic centres over the next 25 years.
The draft report for the Comox Valley aquatic services needs strategy presented to the mayor and council on Wednesday defines four separate options.
The least expensive option – option one – at $16.5 million would see the outdoor pool, Comox Valley Sports Centre pool and Aquatic Centre remain in place and get maintenance.
“This is assuming that no new facility investment is going to be undertaken,” said consultant Paul Fast of HCMA. “[Just] to kind of deal with those maintenance items that have been identified in assessments to date.”
Consultant Mike Roma said there currently is no need to increase the capacity of the pools for the next 20 years, but the city could improve leisure and wellness experience at the pools.
Fast says concerns include the age of some of the pools in the area, with the outdoor pool built in 1949 and nearing what they consider the end of life. However, he says the pool is very well-loved and holds close significance in the area.
Option two would involve consolidating all the facilities at the Comox Valley Aquatic Centre. Suboptions could include a wellness expansion for $25.8 million, $12 million for an outdoor pool expansion or $35 million for both improvements.
“The benefits that you get out of that are the efficiency that comes with combining services from an operational standpoint, from a capital cost standpoint and from a user experience standpoint,” said Fast.
Option three is the most expensive and would see all three pools built at a new site. Fast says this would allow the city to address accessibility issues and environmental goals with aggressive building targets.
The total cost for option three is estimated to be around $87.9 million.
Option four has two options to rebuild the outdoor pool. The first would cost $16.1 million for a new site and the second at $18.2 million at the current site.
The $35 million expansion in option two at the Comox Valley Aquatic Centre is being recommended by consultants. Roma says this option would provide the best benefit for the city, district and its residents.
Council will move forward with the draft report being posted to both the city and CVRD websites for public comment and feedback. A final report is tentatively scheduled to be presented to council on March 8 that will include a summary of public feedback.