Langford residents can look forward to a dip and a workout in their own backyard.
YMCA-YWCA of Greater Victoria expects to open its full-size aquatic centre and fitness facility near City Centre Park in 2015.
City council unanimously approved the plan Monday, with the support of an enthusiastic audience, said councillor and parks and recreation committee chair Lanny Seaton.
“They were all excited, everybody was clapping,” Seaton said. “I’ve never seen such a positive meeting in all the years I’ve been on council.”
YMCA of Greater Victoria CEO Jennie Edgecombe said the project has been in the works for a couple of years now, with the YMCA interested in providing services Langford has been asking for.
“We see it as a growing community with a lot of young families, which is in essence a lot of the work that we do,” Edgecombe said.
In terms of rates, Langford residents will enjoy a 10 per cent reduction on monthly passes and a 20 per cent reduction on drop-in fees. Free swims will also be open to Langford residents on stat holidays.
Westhills Land Corporation will construct the facility and the YMCA will lease the building, starting with a 25-year contract. Construction is expected to begin this year, with the facility opening in 2015.
The facility will also include a daycare centre, hot tubs, sauna, a gymnasium, a wave pool and an outdoor play area.
Langford will pay about $750,000 into the deal annually. Part of that money will come from funds made available after the pool at Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre is paid off in 2014. The net cost to taxpayers is expected to be about $17 annually for the average home.
Langford is also leasing an additional 4,000 square feet in the building for an additional annual cost of $100,000. The city is in talks with the Greater Victoria Public Library to bring another branch to the area. That plan has not been approved yet.
Seaton said having the facility will not impact Langford’s involvements with West Shore Parks and Recreation, with which Seaton serves as a board member.
“Langford is big enough to do (its) own recreation now, compared to what we were,” Seaton said. “But we’re not anticipating moving out of Juan de Fuca (Recreation Centre). But we’d also like some other things to happen too.”