A beloved Coquitlam pool that's lasted half a century has taken another stroke toward much-needed upgrades and amenities for all.
Today (Aug. 13), a joint investment by local, provincial and federal governments totalling more than $12.4 million was announced for Spani Outdoor Pool following successful cash bids by the city and is on a schedule to be completed by 2023.
The money is set to pay for a new leisure pool with a shallow beach entry, a splash area and lazy river, the addition of a changing room and washroom facility, as well as upgrades in Spani's plumbing, mechanical and electrical systems.
"For generations, [Spani] has offered a place for everyone from children to seniors, and competitive swimmers to recreational visitors, to stay active and enjoy the natural outdoor setting surrounding the pool," said Coquitlam Coun. Teri Towner, who was the acting mayor for this morning's announcement.
"This funding allows Coquitlam to reduce the financial burden on taxpayers while ensuring this important community asset is upgraded to offer improved accessibility and features that will better serve citizens for many years to come."
Construction to modernize the pool's complex and surrounding space is set to begin after the 2022 swimming season and is aiming to be finished by 2023
Other features for the upgrade include:
- Renovated 25-metre lap pool with a 1.2-metre deep end
- New hot pool between the two tanks
- Shade structure and seating
- Open space for social gathering
- Better accessibility via improvements to existing pedestrian and vehicle pathways
- Storage room, staff room, First Aid room, multi-purpose room and washrooms
- Spectator seating
- “Shark Shack” for the Coquitlam Sharks Swim Club
The decisions of which parts of Spani Pool to modernize were the subject of a survey in summer 2020 that generated more than 600 responses.
Coquitlam-Port Coquitlam MP Ron McKinnon was part of the announcement this morning. He explained the federal government will be contributing $2.41 million to the project via the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) and its Community, Culture, and Recreation Infrastructure Stream.
The city of Coquitlam's original bid was for $4.4 million to offset the infrastructure costs.
"Spani Outdoor Pool has been a popular recreation site for Coquitlam for 50 years, and this project will allow residents and visitors to enjoy it for many years to come," McKinnon said.
"The new facility will benefit the entire community, giving people of all ages and different mobility a place to have fun, exercise, and develop an important life skill. Canada's Infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates jobs across Canada, and builds stronger communities."
Meanwhile, the B.C. government is providing a $2.01 million wave for Spani Outdoor Pool.
Coquitlam will be putting in more than $8 million for the upgrades, which, according to Infrastructure Canada, will include $1.6 million in eligible costs under the ICIP funding program.
City staff are currently putting together a design that will be presented to councillors for final approval early next year.
Besides the tanks and new buildings, the city is also planning several energy-efficient measures at Spani Pool. Among them:
- Solar thermal pre-heat for showers, sinks and other hot water (not the pool water)
- Sanitary heat recovery
- Air-source heat pump to cool the staff area
Staff are also working with FortisBC to look at high-efficiency gas boilers to heat the pool water.
- with files from Janis Cleugh, Tri-City News