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Photos: Shovels in the ground this spring at Coquitlam's Spani Pool

Spani Pool, a popular summer recreation spot in Mundy Park in Coquitlam, is about to get a new life.

Swimmers will be able to jump into Coquitlam’s updated Spani Pool next spring.

Last Monday (Feb. 13), city council unanimously OK’d the final design to renew the 50-year-old tank, which is located on the western side of Mundy Park at 655 Hillcrest St.

The upgrade means Spani Pool won’t be in use this year as construction is due to start in a couple of months.

Ted Uhrich, Coquitlam’s acting manager of parks and facility planning, told the Tri-City News that the renewal was supposed to be done by this spring 

However, during the design planning, “consultants with expertise in pool construction recommended a modified construction schedule to allow the pool finishes to be completed in dry, warm weather to ensure the best final product,” he said.

“The new schedule will lead to a superior product and be more cost effective overall.”

Uhrich declined to reveal the price tag for the expansion as the city is now out for tenders, but in 2021 the city reported the new pool would cost about $18 million.

That year, the provincial and federal governments kicked in $4.4 million — a grant contingent on the project incorporating cultural elements of the Kwikwetlem First Nation.

Lanny Englund, Coquitlam’s general manager of parks, recreation, culture and facilities, said the city will include paving treatments at Spani to tell the Nation’s history.

According to a city report, the modernized pool will be accessible and environmentally friendly and will include:

  • a new leisure pool with a shallow beach entry, a splash area, a lazy river and a 1.2 m deep end
  • a new and separate warming pool
  • the existing lap tank, which has eight 25 m swimming lanes and a dive tank, plus a new access ramp

The city has also moved the pick-up and drop-off area further south.

Englund estimates the pool update will mean a doubling of drop-in participants, as well as a 50 per cent jump in the number of lessons and certification courses.

And the new pool washrooms will be available for Mundy Park users all year round, he said.

There will also be an 80 per cent reduction to greenhouse gases with the update.

Still, 32 trees will be cut around the site, though the large Douglas Firs on the eastern side of the pool will stay.

Uhrich said 25 of the 32 trees slated to be chopped are under 12” in diameter — “many of which are in poor condition,” he said.

“The remaining seven trees to be removed are hemlock trees that are in poor health.”

A memorial tree, close to the pool, will be relocated in Mundy Park, Englund told Coun. Robert Mazzarolo, who went to school with the late Coquitlam resident.

Meanwhile, the facility upgrade will translate to $900,000 more for the pool operations — equalling a 0.54 per cent hike to taxes starting in 2024.

Several council members said they or their children learned how to swim at Spani Pool.

“I think the plans look great overall,” Coun. Matt Djonlic said.

“I’m really glad that we’ve been able to sort out and be creative with working around the user groups. I look forward to supporting this and jumping in the pool when it’s finished.”

Coun. Trish Mandewo said she’d like the city to add shade to the new spectator area to cover viewers from the heat or rain, as well as include a mural on the new building’s wall.