Everyone into the (new) pool in Port Coquitlam

Port Coquitlam's second aquatic centre opens in the downtown community centre on March 7.

The next phase in the rebuild of the Port Coquitlam rec centre is to be unveiled on the city’s 107th birthday.

March 7, the municipality will open the leisure at the Port Coquitlam community centre (PCCC) with a party from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. that includes free swimming, games, treats, music, giveaways, kids activities and a draw to win a one-year One City Pass.

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Register at portcoquitlam.ca/register for the free swim sessions from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. or from 1 to 3 p.m.; the first 107 people to sign up will get a one-day courtesy rec pass.

Among the aquatic centre features are: a lazy river; two swim lanes; a hot tub, steam room and sauna; and an accessible sloped entry and change rooms. Regular pool hours start March 8, with the first set of swimming lessons beginning April 6.

As the maximum depth of the PCCC tank is just under five feet, competitive swimming and most of the lane swimming will stay at Hyde Creek recreation centre and the Centennial outdoor pool — the latter also recently underwent a rebuild.

Tuesday at the city’s committee of council meeting, recreation director Lori Bowie said the piledriving for Phase 2 is about 57% complete and will continue for another four to six weeks. As well, the ramp on the southwest corner, off Mary Hill Road, will soon be poured for a 425-stall parkade.

Bowie acknowledged parking around the $132-million complex hasn’t been easy since building began in 2017 but she told the committee there have been gains with recreation program registration and drop-ins since Phase 1 opened last August, most notably with rink use (the dry floor transition is on March 15).

Bowie also said Wilson Seniors membership is also back on track: Before its centre came down three years ago, the group had 1,200 members; it now stands at 1,087.

Mayor Brad West, who recently met with the seniors' group, said members expressed “lots of apprehension” when their facility was replaced but “that has dissipated a significant amount."

When complete next year, the 205,000-sq. ft. rec centre will have three ice sheets, a pool, underground parking, multipurpose rooms, kids' areas and a spray park.

Visit portcoquitlam.ca/pccc for more information. 

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