The regional district is looking at building a brand new pool at Strathcona Gardens, rather than renovating the existing one.

Brand new pool under consideration for Campbell River recreation centre

The Strathcona Regional District is considering replacing the indoor pool, instead of renovating the existing one, in order to avoid a lengthy shutdown of Strathcona Gardens.

A cost-benefit design exercise found, however, that a new build of the pool would cost slightly more than just upgrading and/or repurposing the pool.

The price tag to upgrade is $40.3 million while three different options put forward for a new pool cost $44.6 million, $48.4 million and $51.0 million, respectively. The last, and most expensive option, also includes $2.6 million for expanded seating in Rod Brind’Amour Arena.

Under the new build option, the existing pool would possibly be repurposed into a gymnasium for activities such as basketball, volleyball, pickleball, badminton and indoor soccer. A new pool would be built either next to Arena 2 and Rod Brind’Amour Arena (where the side parking lot currently exists) or next to the existing pool, stretching along Pinecrest and Dogwood Street on the northern half of the front parking lot. Under that last option, parking would be contained to the southern half of the property, the side that borders the RCMP station.

The Strathcona Gardens Commission, which operates under the Strathcona Regional District, ordered the design exercise after concerns surfaced about the length of a potential shutdown.

“The purpose of this exercise is to determine the cost-benefit of a new build for the aquatic component of the facility versus the existing renovation scenario, with an emphasis on minimizing the estimated extent of shut down during construction,” said Victoria Smith, special projects and sustainability manager for the regional district.

A report on the findings of the design exercise, which was conducted by contractor HCMA Architecture and Design, estimates that with a new build, phase one – construction of the new pool area – could take 18 to 20 months while phase two, repurposing of the old pool, is expected to last 12 to 15 months. Phase three, which involves adding new seating at Rod Brind’Amour Arena, is estimated to last 12 months, or if done at the same time as phase two, 15 months.

The three options for a new pool build will be presented to a Community Advisory group as well as Strathcona Gardens stakeholders before being brought back to the Strathcona Gardens Commission for consideration of the public engagement process.

The entire Strathcona Gardens renovation project is projected to cost roughly $21.8 million and was prompted by a 2015 study that found the aging facility is unable to meet the community’s needs now and going forward into the future.

Following several public open houses and consultations with key Strathcona Gardens stakeholders, the Strathcona Gardens Commission is looking at overhauling the recreation complex to include a new pool, change rooms, sauna and steam rooms, hot pool, therapy pool and pool administration spaces for lifeguards, as well as a brand-new wellness centre with a fitness room, treatment rooms and a gymnasium. Upgrades to the arena include four new team rooms, a new first aid and referee rooms, and approximately 2,000 new bucket seats. The project also involves a new reception area, a renovated lobby and gathering space, a new concession, four new multi-purpose rooms and three renovated multi-purpose rooms.

For more on the Strathcona Gardens project visit,



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