Recreational swimming, leisure swimming, and skills training are among the most common requests Cold Lake residents made during the public engagement campaign for the new Aquatics Centre.
These results of the campaign will help guide the concept design of the Centre which will be presented to the Council.
Mayor Craig Copeland says residents have wanted an aquatics center built in Cold Lake for years and now he knows what to put inside of it.
“We are closer now than we’ve ever been to making that a reality,” said Mayor Craig Copeland. “Council earmarked some money in this year’s budget for an architect to come up with a conceptual design for the facility, but we wanted to have our residents and stakeholder groups weigh in first with what they’d like to see.”
A total of 1,287 people completed the online survey portion of the engagement with approximately 250 people attending the public information session.
Here are the biggest takeaways from the engagement:
- 88% of respondents said “very important” or “somewhat important” when asked, “How important is a new pool to you?”
- 94% of respondents agreed a pool should provide young children with a fun leisure aquatics experience.
- 90% of respondents agreed a pool should provide fitness opportunities for adults and seniors, and that it should be fully accessible for people in wheelchairs or with other physical disabilities.
Residents were asked to name key activities they wanted to see in the Aquatics Centre and rank them from most to least relevant.
- Recreational and leisure swimming
- Swim lessons and other skills training
- Swimming for fitness
- Rehabilitation or therapy
- Sport training
- Leadership training
Copeland said these findings say the public wants this new pool to be a place for the whole family, but especially for the kids.
“One of the things we tracked in the survey results was the use of keywords, and the words that kept coming up over and over were things like “family-oriented”, “play features”, and “waterslides”. Over 85 per cent of people identified waterslides as a feature they would like to see included. It’s going to be important to make sure that every age group is represented in the design and planning of this facility, but we especially want to make sure that we focus on our youngest residents.”
When the survey asked what types of amenities residents would like to see in the facility a warm water pool, a Leisure Pool, and waterslides all ranked very favorably.
31 stakeholder groups were invited to provide feedback but only 10 groups did. The stakeholders who provided their feedback all agreed the facility needed to include the following:
- Must be fully accessible for people in wheelchairs and those with physical disabilities.
- Must be reliably operational with minimal downtime for maintenance and repairs.
- Should have a viewing area for parents or spectators
- Should be flexible to accommodate a variety of activities, user groups, and ages.
The concept design will be presented to the council later this year for approval and the project will move forward from there.