Parksville Aquatic and Recreation Centre

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You are most welcome to leave your comments here on Let’s Talk Parksville. Comments will be acknowledged and provided to Mayor and Council and the consultants conducting the public engagement.

Swimming pool, leisure pool and hot tub



Nature

Heart

Versatility

Play




In 2019, Parksville Council directed staff to prepare a request for proposals for a feasibility study for a swimming pool and multiplex facility in Parksville. The feasibility study final report for the development of a modern, multi-purpose community recreation complex was presented to Council in November 2020:

  • Aquatics - six lane, 25 metre swimming pool, separate leisure water with zero entry, therapeutic swim channel, hot tub and play amenities/spaces.
  • Community recreation centre multiplex with public and multi-purpose space designed to meet flexible community needs and accommodate small, medium and large public events.
  • Gymnasium and indoor fitness track, roof top amenity.
  • Accessible change rooms.

For the past twenty years, there has been considerable discussion about the need for a new swimming pool and more indoor recreational and community space in the Oceanside area. The feasibility study which built on consultation with sports and recreation groups and the public, concluded there is a need for a new aquatic and recreation centre in Parksville. Council wishes to move this concept forward and recognizes the result must be affordable and in the best long-term interests of taxpayers, sports and recreation groups and the community.

The proposed site for the aquatic recreation centre is city-owned land on Despard Avenue and along with an elementary school, tennis courts, baseball fields, off-leash dog park and open spaces, will form a popular community hub and destination.

We are eager to start the conversation about the potential of this exciting new facility and look forward to engaging the public in person once it is safe to do so. In the meantime, we will look to online opportunities for community input. We encourage you to spend some time on this site to familiarize yourself with the available details and hope you will become engaged as this project progresses.

Below you will find information on the following:

Community Engagement
Phase 1 - Feasibility
Phase 2 - Detailed Design Phase
Proposed Site
Financial Information


Do you have a question or comment?

You are most welcome to leave your comments here on Let’s Talk Parksville. Comments will be acknowledged and provided to Mayor and Council and the consultants conducting the public engagement.

Swimming pool, leisure pool and hot tub



Nature

Heart

Versatility

Play




In 2019, Parksville Council directed staff to prepare a request for proposals for a feasibility study for a swimming pool and multiplex facility in Parksville. The feasibility study final report for the development of a modern, multi-purpose community recreation complex was presented to Council in November 2020:

  • Aquatics - six lane, 25 metre swimming pool, separate leisure water with zero entry, therapeutic swim channel, hot tub and play amenities/spaces.
  • Community recreation centre multiplex with public and multi-purpose space designed to meet flexible community needs and accommodate small, medium and large public events.
  • Gymnasium and indoor fitness track, roof top amenity.
  • Accessible change rooms.

For the past twenty years, there has been considerable discussion about the need for a new swimming pool and more indoor recreational and community space in the Oceanside area. The feasibility study which built on consultation with sports and recreation groups and the public, concluded there is a need for a new aquatic and recreation centre in Parksville. Council wishes to move this concept forward and recognizes the result must be affordable and in the best long-term interests of taxpayers, sports and recreation groups and the community.

The proposed site for the aquatic recreation centre is city-owned land on Despard Avenue and along with an elementary school, tennis courts, baseball fields, off-leash dog park and open spaces, will form a popular community hub and destination.

We are eager to start the conversation about the potential of this exciting new facility and look forward to engaging the public in person once it is safe to do so. In the meantime, we will look to online opportunities for community input. We encourage you to spend some time on this site to familiarize yourself with the available details and hope you will become engaged as this project progresses.

Below you will find information on the following:

Community Engagement
Phase 1 - Feasibility
Phase 2 - Detailed Design Phase
Proposed Site
Financial Information


Do you have a question or comment?

  • City Residents to Inform Next Steps for Multiplex Project

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    July 5, 2021

    In fall 2020, WSP Canada Inc completed an initial environmental assessment of the proposed Despard site and submitted a report to Council in February that recommended further study, highlighting areas where more in depth environmental assessment should be done.

    At the July 5 meeting, Council was advised by WSP that preliminary assessments completed in June identified potential valuable ecological communities at the proposed site which may present constraints to the proposed development. The following motion was approved by Council:

    1. THAT WSP finalize their current ecological assessment of the Despard site.
    2. THAT no further studies in relation to the development of the Despard site be initiated and that WSP be retained as the technical consultant and the balance of the budget reallocated to land analysis and site condition assessments for alternative potential sites.
    3. THAT staff be directed to move forward with the planned public engagement to commence later this month and into the fall.

    On several occasions, Council stated decisions would be based on the studies and before asking residents to consider the additional costs of acquiring land, wished to investigate site conditions on land already owned by the City. The Despard site was chosen by Council as the preferred site for several reasons: the size of the area and buffering from nearby residences; no additional cost to purchase the land; proximity to existing services; walkability from a large portion of the population and compatible land use regulations. Council agreed they would not pursue any action that would cause irreparable damage to the area. It is important to note this location is not the same as the identified wetland in the park property to the northeast of the proposed location but represents a different valuable feature on fee simple lands not currently designated as park.

    Along with the services of a public engagement consultant, the cost of the WSP site condition assessments were allocated from a provincial COVID grant. The assessment of the Despard site is extremely valuable as the City looks to manage and protect this site in the future. WSP will complete the assessment and following peer review, present the final report to Council as soon as possible.

    With the new information provided by WSP today, Council appointed six members to the Advisory Technical Working Group for the project and extended the application process for a further few weeks. Please refer to the City’s website for more information on the working group.

    With COVID restrictions easing, a robust public engagement effort will begin to discuss the community’s input on the size, location and features for a pool and multiplex. We look forward to hearing from residents throughout the summer and fall. Public engagement consultant, HDR will be asking residents questions such as:

    • Do you want a pool in Parksville? If so, what features/amenities should be included in the facility?
    • What siting conditions are important - e.g. walkability, access to transit, proximity to other amenities, servicing, etc?
    • Would you be willing to see taxes increase to support this project and how much would be acceptable? Would you support borrowing funds to build the facility?

    We encourage residents to be part of the conversation on next steps; please email HDR@parksville.ca to be added to the mailing list.

    For more information:
    Deb Tardiff, Manager of Communications
    dtardiff@parksville.ca; 250 954-3073

  • Parksville Aquatic and Recreation Centre Update

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    June 24, 2021

    In May, Council approved the hiring of consultants to conduct formal public consultation and site condition assessments for the Parksville Aquatic and Recreation Centre, also known as the Multiplex. To that end, we have brought in a team of public engagement experts from HDR, Inc. to spearhead renewed public consultation efforts and ensure everyone in Parksville has a seat at the table. Starting in July through to the end of October, HDR will lead a campaign to inform the public about project development to date, gather feedback and ideas from the public, host in-person open houses or workshops, and more.

    WSP Canada Inc, a professional environmental and technical consultation firm, will supplement last year’s feasibility study by conducting a thorough land analysis and site condition assessment to evaluate current site plans and conceptual designs. HDR will work closely with WSP to include regular study updates and technical results in public engagement materials.

    We wish to thank residents for your continued interest in the proposed project. We’ve been monitoring the discussions online and in our community, and there have been some great conversations about the project, including the location of the facility, concerns about our forests and wetlands, the potential financial burden on our residents, whether we even need a Multiplex, and much more. It is very early in the process and we know people want more details.

    We hear you, and it’s time to start an active dialogue about the Parksville Aquatic and Recreation Centre. A degree of misinformation is causing confusion about the project, and we want to set the story straight. HDR is looking forward to working directly with the community to address concerns, hearing your thoughts and ideas, and bringing the public vision of this project to fruition. HDR is also looking forward to reviewing the results of these public engagement activities with Parksville Council to help with future decisions on the project. All comments received to date have been provided to HDR.

    We also wish to be clear that no final decisions have been made about the Multiplex. This project came from you -- it was borne from the Mayor’s Roundtable centred around community priorities in 2019, which led to a resident survey later that year and stakeholder engagement sessions with community representatives in March 2020. We had always planned to follow up with comprehensive public consultation activities throughout 2020, but plans were put on hold due to the pandemic. Now, it’s time to pick up where we left off. This is your aquatic and recreation centre, and we want to collaborate with you to make it a true community centre for everyone in Parksville.

    As a reminder, detailed information about the project lives on the Parksville Aquatic and Recreation Centre page of Let’s Talk Parksville, where you can read a summary of the project’s feasibility study, learn about where the idea originated, view some conceptual ideas about what it could look like, review the phased approach to public consultation and design, and more. If you wish to be added to the HDR mailing list to receive project updates and notices of upcoming public consultation opportunities, please send an email to HDR@parksville.ca. Stay tuned, you’ll be hearing much more from HDR in the coming weeks.

    For more information:
    Deb Tardiff, Manager of Communications
    dtardiff@parksville.ca; 250 954-3073

  • Proposed Parksville Aquatic and Recreation Centre - The Facts

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    June 7, 2021

    The City wishes to provide information about the proposed Parksville Aquatic and Recreation Centre; these facts will address the inaccuracies presented on social media.

    • The proposed multiplex site is not located on the wetland feature, about 400 metres to the north. We do not expect the proposed project to impact the wetlands which is 35.4 hectares or 90 acres.
    • Most of the facility is envisioned to be located on non-parkland parcels owned by the City.
    • A small section of park, about 0.8 hectares or less than two acres is shown as providing potential parking and access for the multiplex facility as well as the Parksville Wetlands.
    • The wetlands will not be logged. The proposed location assists with preserving second growth trees to the south of the site as noted in the environmental overview assessment report prepared by WSP Canada, and along with all reports, available on Let’s Talk Parksville.
    • The preliminary environmental assessment indicates the watercourses in the project area do not interact with the wetland features; channels enter the City’s storm system at Despard Avenue.
    • Further environmental and hydrogeological assessments will be done to address water flow on the project area. The intent is to enhance the watercourse features and explore options to enhance the wetland features to the north.

    For phase 1 of the feasibility study for the multiplex, the Despard Avenue site was selected by a majority of Council as the test site for conceptual design and further consideration. Council can reconsider its decision if there are compelling technical reasons, and if community input suggests a willingness to incur extra costs for acquiring private lands or upgrading offsite infrastructure to serve alternate sites.

    An advisory technical working group will assist the public and Council by reviewing the technical aspects of the design construction and operation of the project and to provide neutral expert advice on the recommendations contained in the consultant reports.

    Project consultants have started their work on the next phase of the project and over the next two weeks, details will be provided which will include timelines for assessments and public engagement. Please refer to Let’s Talk Parksville for information about this project.

    For more information:
    Deb Tardiff, Manager of Communications
    dtardiff@parksville.ca; 250 954-3073

  • Requests for Proposals for Parksville Aquatic and Recreation Centre

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    April 27, 2021 - now closed

    The City of Parksville has issued two requests for proposals related to the proposed Parksville Aquatic and Recreation Centre:

    • Land Analysis and Site Condition Assessments
    The City proposes to engage the services of a lead consultant to coordinate detailed site condition assessments including environmental, geotechnical, hydrogeological and other construction related assessments for the proposed location of a new swimming pool and community recreation centre.

    • Public Consultation Strategy
    The City of Parksville requires a consultant to conduct comprehensive public engagement with the community on the siting, costing and design of a new swimming pool and community recreation centre. Council has identified a preferred site and its initial reasons for choosing this location. The City has identified expectations for the public engagement process, which should be reviewed when preparing a response to the RFP.

    Deadline to submit proposals is 4 pm on Friday, April 30. The requests for proposals are available on BC Bid and from the City’s website. All queries relating to these requests for proposals should be directed to:

    Keeva Kehler, MPA
    Chief Administrative Officer
    City of Parksville
    Phone: 250 954-4660
    Email: kkehler@parksville.ca

  • Location of Proposed Parksville Aquatic and Recreation Centre

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    February 4, 2021

    We wish to clarify information provided on Let’s Talk Parksville and address concerns expressed by residents about the proposed location for the Parksville Aquatic and Recreation Centre.

    For Phase 1 of the feasibility study for the Parksville Aquatic and Recreation Centre, the Despard Avenue site was selected as a test site for conceptual design and further consideration. Most of the facility, as shown on preliminarily conceptual plans, is envisioned to be located on non-parkland parcels owned by the City. A small section of park is shown as providing potential parking and access for the multiplex facility and Parksville Wetlands. This section is about 0.8 hectares (less than 2 acres) of the 35.4 hectares (90 acres) Parksville Wetlands property. The proposed location is expected to have no impact on the wetlands, located some distance away, and the proposed location assists with preserving second growth trees to the south of the site (as noted in the environmental overview assessment report prepared by WSP Canada and available on the project site).

    The map included with this release is intended to better show the location of the proposed facility in relation to the surrounding land. It must be noted that these are early ‘proof of concept’ plans and further adjustments should be anticipated. The preliminary environmental assessment indicates the watercourses in the project area do not interact with the wetland features, but enhancement work for the watercourses could be designed to benefit the ecology of the wetlands and other features to the north, located on the parkland.

    In 1997, the Wetlands property was privately owned and the City registered an agreement to allow for public recreation access to the land; this covenant area is wholly unaffected by the proposed project.

    The information provided to the public in the phase 1 feasibility study is intended as a starting point and opportunity for public input and to finetune the concepts presented. We will engage in in-person community consultation as soon as it is safe to do so. In the interim, we encourage public input through the Let’s Talk Parksville site and via email at Letstalk@parksville.ca

  • Parksville Aquatic and Recreation Centre Project Announced by Council

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    February 1, 2021

    At the February 1 meeting, Council moved to release the “Parksville Pool and Multiplex Facility Feasibility Study” to the public along with background information, staff reports, studies, assessments, and stakeholder engagement session results, now available on the City’s public engagement platform, Let’s Talk Parksville. The first step in a complex multi-year process, the report summarizes the feasibility and benefit of a multi-use aquatic centre in Parksville and shows Despard Avenue as the test site for the facility.

    In 2019, Council directed staff to engage the services of HDR Architecture Associates to undertake the pool and multiplex feasibility study. Work began in January 2020 with the feasibility report finalized in December 2020. A series of workshops and stakeholder sessions were hosted by HDR in March 2020 and due to the pandemic, planned interactive public consultation events were postponed to the next phase of the project.

    As soon as it is safe to do so, extensive and varied in-person community engagement will be facilitated. In the meantime, we look to online engagement opportunities and encourage residents to share comments, ideas, ask questions and signup for project updates through Let’s Talk Parksville. Comments to Council on this project may also be emailed to letstalk@parksville.ca.

    During phase 2, the detailed design phase of the Parksville Aquatic and Recreation Centre project, the community will be asked to provide substantial input to finetune and define the concept presented in the feasibility study. Based on this community input and the results of studies and assessments during phase 2, we expect substantial changes to the conceptual plan elements. In this phase, the City will engage a consultant to facilitate community involvement and provide final detailed design and cost estimates for construction of the project and its operations. When detailed design, cost estimates and potential grant funding elements are determined and prior to construction, electors will be asked through a referendum for approval to borrow.

    Quote:
    Parksville Mayor Ed Mayne said, “Council is pleased to announce this exciting project for multi-use and recreation facilities for our community. This is Parksville’s largest project to date and will provide amenities, programs, services, and a social gathering space for seniors and young families for years to come. During the next phase of the Parksville Aquatic and Recreation Centre project, we will engage the community in a series of robust public engagement opportunities.”