Crystal Pool on Quadra Street. (Black Press Media file photo)

Victoria council directs staff to reexamine original Crystal Pool designs at previously-explored locations

Council rejected a request for $725,000 for a new feasibility study

Victoria council directed staff to report back on all existing potential sites for the new Crystal Pool facility before any more decisions are made moving forward.

In a committee of the whole meeting on Thursday, staff presented a report at the request of council laying out how much a feasibility study would cost for the new pool, landing on a grand total of $725,000.

READ MORE: Victoria staff request $725,000 to plan for new Crystal Pool facility

Council rejected the idea, opting instead to have staff gather all existing information about previously-examined sites, with a special emphasis on the vacant Royal Athletic Park parking lot at 940 Caledonia Ave.

One of the previously-explored locations, the field next to Central Middle School, is off the table since it doesn’t meet the geographic requirements of being in the Hillside/North Park neighbourhoods.

Council hopes to see original designs of the new pool, which had initially been placed in the south-west corner of Central Park, examined at these alternative locations.

Plans were delayed last year when council heard from the North Park Neighbourhood Association (NPNA) asking for more greenspace and the use of an equity lens when examining community needs.

In exploring alternative options, council realized that the requested amenities, including the inclusive pool, affordable housing, childcare space and a community centre could not all come together in the same space.

ALSO READ: Victoria city staff start from square one on Crystal Pool project

“There are other parcels of land where the city can pursue those opportunities for non-recreational amenities,” said Coun. Ben Isitt.

“We can have a clear division of labour with respect to various amenities. We can delegate parks and recreation staff to pursue the recreation amenities as originally contemplated in the project deign and direct our real estate staff and our planning staff and others to pursue the non-recreational amenities that council has identified.”

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps agreed that dividing the goals would help move the project forward.

“Just because in June 2019 we said all of those things must be part of one project, I don’t think we need to hold fast to that,” Helps said, adding that continuing to drag out discussions puts a great risk to the city of having no pool facility at all.

City staff had told council that keeping the present and ailing pool running for 10 more years would cost upwards of $13 million.

ALSO READ: Crystal Pool facility requires referendum to move forward, says Victoria mayor

“There is a great deal of risk and we have a responsibility,” Helps said. “It is our responsibility, not the staff, the public or groups advocating for or against one position. It’s up to us to build a new swimming pool before the old one has to be closed down or before we dump a tonne of money into the old one.”

Staff are set to provide the compiled site selection reports, including previously unreleased parking analysis studies, to council on Feb. 6.

Council determined that due to timeline restrictions, any upcoming pool referendum would not be included in the upcoming by-election in the spring.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Like us on Facebook, send a Tweet to @NicoleCrescenzi
and follow us on Instagram

City of VictoriaCrystal Pool

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

VIDEO: Internet famous Yukon-based bhangra dancer explores Vancouver Island

Gurdeep Pandher spreads joy through dance, forms cross-cultural connections amid pandemic

Avoid giving dogs ice cubes, says Greater Victoria vet

Tips for keeping dogs cool and safe this summer

Hungry Hearts Gala goes virtual with new mac and cheese competition

Results will be announced on Facebook live stream event

GVPL staggers reopening of three more branches in Oak Bay, Saanich and Victoria

More Greater Victoria Library branches to reopen in August

Gaps in the system: Youth cope with homelessness in Greater Victoria

Four-part series will look at youth homelessness in the region

53 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths cap off week of high infection rates in B.C.

Roughly 1,500 people are self-isolating because they either have COVID-19 or have been exposed to it

Unofficial holidays: the weird and wonderful things people celebrate around the world

On any given day of the year, there are several strange, silly or serious holidays to observe

Missing teen visiting Courtenay found safe

She had last been seen going for a walk on Aug. 6

Moving on: Tanev scores 11 seconds into OT as Canucks oust Wild

Vancouver beats Minnesota 5-4 to move into first round of NHL playoffs

Fitness non-profit challenges citizens to invent a game to be physically active

The campaign was launched after a study showed only 4.8 per cent of children and youths in Canada met required standards of the 24-hour movement guidelines

Gene editing debate takes root with organic broccoli, new UBC research shows

Broccoli is one of the best-known vegetables with origins in this scientific haze

VIDEO: U.S. Air Force pilot does fly-by for B.C. son amid COVID border separation

Sky-high father-son visit plays out over White Rock Pier

3 Vancouver police officers test positive for COVID after responding to large party

Union president says other officers are self-isolating due to possible exposure

Vancouver Island team takes on wacky challenges of world’s largest scavenger hunt

Greatest International Scavenger Hunt taking place Aug. 1-8

Most Read