‘Option 00’ is one of two options being considered for the next phase of the Ravensong Aquatic Centre expansion plans. (RDN illustration)

‘Option 00’ is one of two options being considered for the next phase of the Ravensong Aquatic Centre expansion plans. (RDN illustration)

RDN board gives green light to next phase of Qualicum Beach pool expansion plans

Target start date is late 2023 or 2024

Expansion plans for the Ravensong Aquatic Centre in Qualicum Beach will proceed with the next phase of the design.

The Regional District of Nanaimo board endorsed the next step of the plan for the pool, constructed in 1995. With more people moving to the area every year, it cannot meet the growing demand for recreational services. The addition of a second pool and other amenity improvements will provide residents with greater access to aquatic, fitness and wellness programming.

“During the master plan community engagement process that was completed in 2019, RAC stakeholder groups shared their support of an expansion to the aquatic centre,” said Tyler Brown, RDN chair. “An expanded RAC will provide more opportunities for residents to participate in recreational activities they identified as important to their quality of life.”

This next phase of the project will determine which expansion option best meets community needs while also considering cost implications.

The RDN board considered two preferred options. Both include a new four-lane, 25-metre pool with ramp entry, renovated sauna and steam rooms, and new, or mostly new, changerooms, reception, lobby, public washrooms, staff support spaces and multipurpose room/classroom. Also included in the project will be seismic, electrical and mechanical upgrades and sustainability measures to meet current provincial code requirements and the RDN’s green building policy.

READ MORE: Parksville city council pauses development on planned aquatic and recreation centre

“As the only indoor pool in a 45-kilometre adius of its location and the most used indoor recreation facility in the (Parksville Qualicum Beach) region, this expansion will help meet the recreational needs of residents for many years,” said Brian Wiese, Oceanside services committee chair. “The committee is looking forward to receiving more information from the project team and putting forth a recommendation to the board.”

The committee will receive a recommendation for the RAC expansion at their Nov. 17, 2021 meeting. The report will provide refined timelines and any implications stemming from the City of Parksville’s progress on an aquatic centre in Parksville. If approved by the committee, the recommendation will then be put forward to the board for review and approval.

The target start date under consideration for the multi–phase project is late 2023 or early 2024. With direction provided by the OSC and RDN board, the expansion will occur in two phases to minimize disruptions and closures to the public as well as allow more planning time to consider what pool aquatic space the community may want.

Residents can learn more about the Ravensong Aquatic Centre expansion and sign up for project updates at getinvolved.rdn.ca/ravensongexpansion

— NEWS Staff

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