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Majority of respondents to Port Moody survey want the outdoor pool at Rocky Point Park to stay

The outdoor pool at Port Moody's Rocky Point Park is nearing the end of its useful life.
Port Moody says it has no plans to remove the outdoor pool at Rocky Point Park as part of its 10-year plan for the waterfront attraction.

A staff report is recommending the outdoor pool at Rocky Point Park remain a part of plans for its future — for now.

According to the report, which is to be presented to council tonight, July 9, feedback from the community during the third phase of the city’s public engagement process for new master plans being proposed for Rocky Point and Old Orchard parks indicated a great deal of support for retaining the pool, “highlighting its importance for recreation, community well-being and especially providing swimming lessons for children.”

The report, authored by project manager Ding Yu, said any decision to remove or retain the pool, which is nearing the end of its useful life, won’t be made until the city completes a feasibility study of its recreational facilities, as assessment of residents’ needs and further community input.

In the meantime, Yu said, the pool should remain part of 10-year master plan for Rocky Point Park, which could then be updated as part of a longer-range plan as more information becomes available.

“Over time, as more studies are completed and engagement conducted, an alternative future vision — one that incorporated longer-term ideas and design concepts — may take shape for the pool and its current footprint in the park,” Yu said, adding that future could include a new pool in another location.

In the spring, Port Moody residents were able to participate in a community survey to gauge their feelings about recommended design concepts for the city’s two waterfront parks that included the eventual removal of the outdoor pool.

The space where the current pool is located would be used “in other ways that will benefit the community,” like a new building for food vendors, a park view terrace and gardens and an esplanade entrance.

Other elements of the concept for Rocky Point Park include:

  • opening up the central lawn area to improve views out to the water
  • construction of a new, larger wooden boardwalk along the waterfront
  • wider walking paths
  • better bike access
  • improved parking
  • upgraded youth area and spray park

But, Yu said, of 142 responses to the survey that indicated dissatisfaction with Port Moody’s recommended concept for its showcase 3.8-acre waterfront park, 113 mentioned concern about the possible removal of the pool. Another 29 expressed worries about parking.

As for Old Orchard Park, 71 per cent of the survey’s respondents said they were very satisfied or satisfied with its proposed design concept that includes replacing the existing playground, construction of a new washroom and picnic shelter as well as opening up the meadow area and creating a meandering path down to the beach.

Yu said the recommended concept focuses on “upgrading key amenities in the park, integrated sensitively into a steep sloped environment while balancing the park’s rich ecological integrity and family feel.

The recommended designs were distilled from initial "big ideas" for each park that were crafted and refined following two previous phases of public engagement including information open houses and surveys.