DARRYL KNIGHT The Standard
UXBRIDGE: After more than a decade of interest in building a new aquatic centre, at the Fields of Uxbridge recreation complex, Uxbridge Township appears to be pivoting to a potential expansion of the existing Uxpool site, which would include a new therapy pool.
A recent report from, Director of Community Services, Amanda Ferraro provided key background details for the plan. Noting, the addition of a therapy pool, or later, the replacement of the pool, has been a topic of discussion for several years. However, rising costs have forced the township to look for an alternative, to provide new aquatic options for the community.
“The need for a Therapy pool and/or a new pool has been a longstanding conversation for decades,” Ms. Ferraro said in her report. “With the increases to capital costs and the decrease in funding grants, the reality of a brand-new pool is unlikely.”
Ms. Ferraro’s report noted, many upgrades to the building have been completed over the past year, including interior painting, HVAC improvements, repairs to the roof, interior and exterior masonry repairs, and a new water bottle filling station. The report went on to request, staff be able to engage with an architect to design an addition to the pool, while working with Elexicon to ensure the building, which opened in 1971, can achieve significant environmental, economic, and social benefits to the community. Among the potential improvements highlighted were lower operating costs, reduced emissions, better building quality, and greater community use.
“The primary goal of the addition is to construct a new accessible therapy pool adjacent to the existing lap pool,” Ms. Ferraro explained. “Existing areas identified for improvement include, but are not limited to: accessible change rooms (women, men, universal); staff room and offices; rethinking the design and function of the 2nd floor including elevator access; and upgraded and relocated mechanical and filtration systems for the pools.”
The estimated cost of the design phase of the project is $100,000, which according to Ms. Ferraro’s report, could be funded through the township's existing Pool Reserve fund.
Regional Councillor, Bruce Garrod praised the report for finding new alternatives, to bring more options to the community.
“I’m glad we’re moving on. We’ll continue to exercise as much influence as we can with the province and the feds to support a new pool, there’s no question we would rather have a new pool, I think this just moves forward with the understanding, there are alternative approaches which at least have to be researched,” said Councillor Garrod. “I think the idea of a pre-design is important. I think the possibilities are endless,[regarding] how that could go, how it would connect to other buildings, such as the seniors centre, to make it more of a complex, and connections to the Indigenous community which could go into this.”
Councillors approved the report’s recommendation to receive the information and forward the pre-design cost request to the upcoming 2024 municipal budget deliberations.