City Council directs staff to explore additional pool options

In the fall of 2017, Fredericton City Council agreed to take a leadership role in finding a solution for a new aquatic centre for the region.

The facility was required to support the needs of competitive aquatics community resulting from the announced closure of the University of New Brunswick’s Sir Max Aitken Pool in September 2018.

During the months that followed, discussions have been taking place in earnest with UNB about a new aquatic centre.  Unfortunately, the discussions to date have not yielded a working arrangement, in principle.

Any such deal would have to meet the needs of the competitive aquatics community and respect the significant investment being made by the taxpayers of Fredericton in a UNB facility located on their campus.

As a result, Council has directed staff to look into all options for a competitive pool, one that could also include a field house component, if feasible.

This would involve discussions with a number of groups, including the aquatics community.  It certainly does not exclude UNB from being a partner.  This is a necessary step in due diligence to ensure the solution is right for our taxpayers and the user groups.

City Council is hoping that in the meantime, UNB will work with the user groups of the SMA pool to find a solution that will allow them to continue to use the facility until a long-term solution is found. 

I have spoken with UNB President Eddy Campbell and expressed how important strategic partnerships are between the university and the City for the success of our community and region.

City staff will now work diligently over the next several weeks to identify all the options and partners and report back to Council. 

--Deputy Mayor Kate Rogers, City of Fredericton