$70M Crystal Pool replacement could move as city considers new locations
The blueprints have been drawn up on Victoria's Crystal Pool replacement, but concerns from neighbours have the city pondering whether it should build the project in an entirely new location.
At a recent meeting, city council voted to send the already approved project back to city staff for further analysis of the location, operations and effects on nearby Central Park.
The analysis will compare the current proposed location, in the southwest corner of Central Park, to three other sites including city-owned parking lots on Quadra Street and Caledonia Avenue, as well as the northwest corner of Central Park.
It's a move the local neighbourhood association has clamoured for after feeling left out of initial consultations.
"As the mayor and council have acknowledged, there wasn't quite as much local consultation. We want to make sure that we're getting a balanced facility out of it at the end," said Sean Kahill of the North Park Neighbourhood Association.
Kahill said he believes one of the alternative sites – the lot next to the Victoria Curling Club on Quadra Street – could have significant benefits.
"There's great energy efficiency advantages that could be had with the heat pump and tying the heating of the pool in with the cooling of the two rinks that are right next door," he said.
The city has so far committed funding of $10-million for the nearly $70-million project from its building and infrastructure fund. It has applied for provincial and federal grants to cover roughly three-quarters of the project's cost.
The current Crystal Pool facility was built more than 45 years ago.