North Peace Leisure Facility Replacement Project

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The North Peace Leisure Pool is aging and its infrastructure is failing, resulting in service interruptions and other impacts on pool users. We need a plan for how we're going to replace or renovate the pool based on a solution that suits our community. But we also see this as an opportunity to offer broader recreational activities for our residents.

The PRRD (Area B and Area C), City of Fort St. John and District of Taylor are working together to explore options for a new or renovated facility to serve the North Peace region. To do this, the partners initiated a feasibility study in 2018 to determine the future of the pool and how to best address regional aquatic and recreational service needs going forward. This included asking residents about what they would like to see at a future facility. Residents shared lots of great ideas on how they use the facility and what recreational spaces and amenities they would like to see for aquatics, social spaces and other indoor activities. Now the partners are moving ahead with the next step in the feasibility study.


Jump in! Help set priorities

The current round of community engagement will further refine the public's preferred priorities for a new aquatics and recreation facility. The input will be used to develop recommendations to the project partners that will include:

  • potential recreational and aquatics amenities
  • anticipated operating and capital costs
  • space program, conceptual test fits with site options
  • governance and partnership options


The Feasibility Study survey was open from June 7- July 7, 2022 and is now closed. Read the engagement report for an outline of what we heard!




PROJECT PARTNERS


The North Peace Leisure Pool is aging and its infrastructure is failing, resulting in service interruptions and other impacts on pool users. We need a plan for how we're going to replace or renovate the pool based on a solution that suits our community. But we also see this as an opportunity to offer broader recreational activities for our residents.

The PRRD (Area B and Area C), City of Fort St. John and District of Taylor are working together to explore options for a new or renovated facility to serve the North Peace region. To do this, the partners initiated a feasibility study in 2018 to determine the future of the pool and how to best address regional aquatic and recreational service needs going forward. This included asking residents about what they would like to see at a future facility. Residents shared lots of great ideas on how they use the facility and what recreational spaces and amenities they would like to see for aquatics, social spaces and other indoor activities. Now the partners are moving ahead with the next step in the feasibility study.


Jump in! Help set priorities

The current round of community engagement will further refine the public's preferred priorities for a new aquatics and recreation facility. The input will be used to develop recommendations to the project partners that will include:

  • potential recreational and aquatics amenities
  • anticipated operating and capital costs
  • space program, conceptual test fits with site options
  • governance and partnership options


The Feasibility Study survey was open from June 7- July 7, 2022 and is now closed. Read the engagement report for an outline of what we heard!




PROJECT PARTNERS


Frequently Asked Questions



Facility Features

Why is the plan to have two lap pools? 

The addition of a second lap pool provides flexibility in programming by allowing for different activities to happen at the same time. For example, in the 6 lane tank there could be diving happening in the deep end, while an aquafit class is happening in the shallow end. At the same time, swim lessons can happen in the 3 lane pool. Or, perhaps there is a club swim in the 6 lane, while public lap swimming can happen in the 3 lane pool. 

Separating them into two tanks also allows the ability to operate them at different temperatures.

Both lap pools have regulation width lanes, but the 3 lane lap pool has a ramp access for ease of entry for people in water wheel chairs or with mobility challenges, really addressing that value around a multi-use inclusive facility. 
 

Why is there no 50m lap pool?

We can look at this from two perspectives:

The first is looking at the community engagement results, and noting that the top 2 activities that the community told us they value most highly in a new aquatic facility were leisure and recreation swimming (or public swim opportunities), along with skills development (swimming lessons). We most often see 50m tanks in facilities where there is a high value or focus on competition hosting and training, which wasn’t reflected through the engagement OR, when there is a need for more water area to meet existing and future demand for aquatic activities.


Which leads to the second consideration, which is about need and capacity requirements for the future facility. Part of the early work that we did in 2018 alongside the community engagement, was a demand analysis that was completed by a consultant we are working with called RC Strategies. Their work looked at the current and future population and demographics for the region, along with future trends for aquatics. This work is part of the needs analysis, which is about understanding how to ‘right size’ facilities for communities to meet current and future demands for water area. This means trying to make sure it is not too big, and not too small, but right-sized. The needs assessment showed that from a capacity perspective, there wasn’t a need for the amount of water area that is provided in a 50m pool.


It’s really about understanding the ‘needs’ of the community that comes from the demand analysis to RIGHT SIZE the facility, and then balancing that with the ‘wants’ of the community that come through the engagement to help ensure we get the RIGHT MIX and TYPE of uses to meet the uniqueness of the community. 

 

Why is there only one waterslide being proposed?

It was clear from the first engagement results that a waterslide is highly valued as an amenity in the new facility. Learning from the challenges associated with the current exterior slide, we know that for the new facility any waterslide will need to be fully indoors. The proposal for a single large scale waterslide is related to the amount of volume and deck space that it will require. More than one large slide means twice the deck area and twice the building volume - which has capital and operational cost impacts.

 The idea is to invest in one large slide, and to look at complimenting it with other amenities (including the possibility of additional smaller slides). 

 

How big will the gymnasium be?  

    • High school gymnasium size (+/- 7500 sqft + 500 sqft storage)
    • This would accommodate full court basketball, 3 pickle ball courts, 3 badminton courts, and 2 volleyball courts if set up in the short direction. 

 

Will the gym accommodate spectators?

    • No. Current size will house a highschool basketball court with minimal clearances/perimeter bench, but not space for retractable bleachers.

 

Why universal change rooms?

We heard a consistent message in the engagement that people want a fully accessible and inclusive facility. Universal change facilities, which provide private enclosed change and shower spaces and are open to all genders, are great for a number of reasons:

      1. They tend to provide a better access for folks with disabilities 
      2. They allow for care-givers of a different gender to support individuals who need assistance in changing and using the washroom facilities
      3. They are great for families for the same reason - a parent with a child of a different gender can be in the same change room 
      4. Operationally they allow for any gendered staff to come in for cleaning or assistance as needed.

Universal design generally provides improved experiences and flexibility for all users and we are seeing this increasingly in facilities across Canada and the BC Building Code is moving towards this standard soon for all new public buidlings.

 

How big will the fieldhouse be?

    • +/- 81,500 sqft
    • Includes 3x 80x180 feet indoor soccer fields, change rooms, lobby area, washrooms + support

 

Where will the new facility be located and what will it look like?

This round of work does not include a design, but rather establishes the scale of the facility and the general arrangement of spaces. What the building will look like would be developed in a future stage of work. Stay tuned to this website for more information in 2023.

 

What is included in the proposed design? 

Total maximum estimated building size: 7,940 m2 (85,474 sqft) 

Total estimated Field House size: 7,566 m2 (81,436 sqft)

 

Aquatics:

  • 6 lane 25m pool (inc 1 & 3m diving board)
  • 3 lane 25m pool (inc. Ramp)
  • Leisure pool (inc. ramp & lazy river, short lanes)
  • Hot pool (inc. ramp)
  • Sauna (15 m2)
  • Steam (15m2)
  • Waterslide
  • Deck area
  • Universal, Men’s & Women’s Change
  • Aquatics Storage (120m2)
  • Classroom (75 m2)
  • Staff change/Offices/Control/First Aid
  • BOH (mech/elec etc)

 

Recreation:

  • Movement Gymnasium (700m2) + Storage (50m2)
  • Multipurpose Room (240 m2)
  • Gymnasium (700 m2) + Storage (50 m2)

 

General:

  • Aquatics lobby & reception (120 m2 +30m2)
  • Food services (cafe)
  • Staff room & public washrooms
  • Recreational addition washrooms & Change (120 m2)
  • Additional staff offices & staff room (for recreation (40 m2)
  • PRRD offices (160 m2)
  • Social Spine (+/-600 m2)

 

Field House:

  • 3x 180x80 soccer pitches (6,160 m2)
  • Lobby (200m2)
  • Storage (120 m2)
  • 4x change rooms
  • Public washrooms

 

    

The Process, Timeline & Costs

What did you hear in the first round of community engagement in 2018?

Residents provided us with input on the vision for a new aquatic and recreation facility as well as principles for the design and programming. They also shared and ranked priorities for most valued aquatics and recreation amenities and programs. Click here to view the Open House boards with highlights on what we heard. Click here to view the summary report.

 

Why are you doing another round of community engagement when you already asked residents about the amenities they want in a new facility in 2018?

We heard lots of great ideas in the first round of community engagement, but now we need to further refine public priorities for a new aquatic and recreation facility. This second round of engagement is about sharing back what we heard, and sharing the ideas for spaces that could be included in the new facility. 


In this phase of engagement, we are asking the community to help us set priorities, which is essential when it comes to the design and budget of a proposed facility. We also want to ensure that what we heard in 2018 is still consistent with what residents want now as the COVID-19 pandemic caused a delay in this process.


It's important to take the time to plan carefully for these types of recreation facilities as they involve a large investment and should serve the community for 30+ years. This includes giving our residents multiple opportunities to share their input. We encourage residents in the North Peace region to participate in project public engagement opportunities to make sure your voice is heard.

 

How will community input be used?

With the input from residents in this current round of community engagement, we will refine the public’s preferred priorities for a new aquatics and recreation facility, and this input will be used to develop recommendations for the project partners – the PRRD (Electoral Areas B & C), City of Fort St. John and District of Taylor. Recommendations will include potential recreational and aquatic amenities for a new facility, a space program, conceptual design and site options, anticipated operating and capital costs, and governance and partnership considerations.

 

What happens after this community engagement is complete?

This summer we will review the feedback, analyze the business case, make recommendations for the amenity priorities and assess the potential capital cost at a very high level. Next, in Winter 2022/Spring 2023, we will prepare final recommendations that will be submitted to the PRRD Board and the City and District Councils. Before a final decision is made about the project, there will be a public approval process for a proposed new aquatics and recreation facility.

 

Why do we need to prioritize the recreation spaces?

We need to prioritize the spaces in order to be fiscally responsible and deliver a facility that is the right size for the community. 

 

What is the timeline for a new facility?

There is no determined timeline for a new facility to be completed at this point. However, the process will take a number of years. The feasibility study is expected to be completed and recommendations made to the PRRD Board and Fort St. John and Taylor Councils in late 2022 or early 2023. If a decision is made to proceed, an approval process will follow, which could include a referendum. Once funding approval is received the design, tendering and construction of a project of this scale would likely take 3 to 4 years to complete.


While the process is lengthy it is important that it include thorough public engagement and planning stages so that the new facility is able to serve our evolving community well over the coming decades.


The PRRD and the City are committed to ensuring the North Peace Leisure Pool remains viable and operational in the interim.

 

What is the budget for the project/how much will a new aquatic and recreation facility cost?

The construction and operating cost estimates will be developed based on the recommendations and priorities identified during the next round of community engagement along with other studies and assessments. We expect to have high level budget information as part of the recommendations being developed. That information will be posted here by early 2023. 

 

About the Current North Peace Leisure Pool

Is the North Peace Leisure Pool a PRRD facility or a City of Fort St. John facility?

It’s both. This pool facility is owned and operated through a City/PRRD partnership, which means its funded by PRRD (Electoral Areas B & C) and City property taxes along with facility user fees. Recreation facilities like the pool are a big part of what makes our community a great place to live, but they also come with a big price tag. With multiple partners, we spread the cost to build and operate the facility over a larger number of taxpayers – and that includes residential and industrial/commercial tax bases. Ultimately, it’s our residents who benefit from more programs and amenities.  

 

As well, for the feasibility to assess future options for an aquatic and recreation facility to replace the current North Peace Leisure Pool, the District of Taylor is also working with the City of Fort St. John and PRRD. Working together comes with a lot of benefits: we can do more in terms of the building design and program delivery, offering a wider variety of sport and recreation activities.

 

Who uses the North Peace Leisure Pool?

The pool hosts more than 100,000 user visits each year, and about 60% are from the City of Fort St. John, and the other 40% come from the PRRD Electoral Areas B and C and the District of Taylor. Of those visits, about 57% are admissions for public swim and 25% for Red Cross and Lessons.

 

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Page last updated: 29 Aug 2022, 04:53 PM