It’s been over two years since eager residents crowded into Langford’s council chambers to hear the announcement that the City had entered into a partnership to build a new aquatic centre.
The Westhills YMCA/YWCA Langford Aquatic Centre, being built on Langford Parkway, came with a price tag estimated between $25 to $30 million and has been eagerly awaited by West Shore residents.
“The building will be finished by February,” said Greater Victoria YMCA/YWCA CEO Jennie Edgecombe. “Our plan is to open in April.”
She said the delay between the completion date and the opening will be caused by filling the space with everything from equipment to clocks.
While the facility was originally scheduled to be completed by this fall, Edgecombe said that was a very early estimate, adding that construction is on track with the current schedule.
“It’s moving along really well,” she said. “The waterslides are up now … The pool is looking great.”
The aquatic centre will include a lap pool, lazy river, warm water therapy pool and two watersides. There will also be a wave machine and beach entry, and the floor of the therapy pool can be adjusted to different heights for specific groups.
“They’re a really efficient use of space,” Edgecombe said.
The facility will also include a gymnasium, health and fitness facilities, youth centre, a number of multipurpose spaces, child care for those using the facilities and a licensed child care program with space for 36 children, which already has a waiting list.
The children’s play area will feature a nature playground filled with trees and grass for the children to play on. Edgecombe said this natural environment is great for children to develop their skills in.
Looking over the entire project, she was quite pleased with how it’s taking shape. “It’s been a really great partnership,” she said.
Langford Mayor Stew Young was on a tour of the project last week when the Gazette tracked him down for an update.
“This is the number one thing in Langford that residents are talking about. It’s amazing,” he said, adding the builders were doing a fantastic job. “It’s a really good community building.”
Young compared the space to a mall, but instead of shops this complex features a variety of recreation facilities in one spot to meet a number of different needs, making it easy for residents. “I think it’s the best use of space I’ve seen,” he said.
He said the project’s many strengths are products of a wealth of experience contributed by the YMCA.
The facility, a partnership between the City of Langford, Westhills Land Corporation and the YMCA/YWCA, will see the Y operating with a 25-year lease.
But you’ll have to wait until April to dip your toes into the new pool.