Mayor's Statement Regarding Decommissioning of UNB’s Lady Beaverbrook Gym

I learned about the decision to decommission the Lady Beaverbrook Gym and Sir Max Aitken Pool effective the fall of 2018 from UNB President Eddy Campbell.  Certainly, the City is disappointed to hear that the time has come to close this facility.  

The loss of this facility will impact many in the university community, and residents across the Fredericton Region, who participate in the many sports and recreational activities offered at the facility.  We share the concerns of those who have used the pool and gym to pursue their sports for many years.

The City will be able to accommodate a good portion of the demand for lap swim capacity, swimming lessons, and leisure swims currently met by the UNB pool, but recognize that existing community assets, do not meet the technical requirements for all sports currently housed within the facility.  We are already engaged in contingency planning for service delivery in the fall of 2018. 

As noted in my statement about the City’s capital priorities back in September 2016, the City is very pleased to have expressed support for the $36M investment at UNB to advance a healthy living agenda through the creation of the Centre for Healthy Living.  The City has been supportive of UNB as they have replaced and grown their athletic infrastructure.

Going forward, it will be important for all stakeholders, including the YMCA, UNB, STU, local aquatic clubs, and all pool users, as well as all levels of governments – federal, provincial, and municipalities in the region, to work together to fully understand the current and future demands for aquatics and from that, what options are available to meet that demand. 

As I also stated in September 2016, a new performing arts centre remains the City’s number one capital project priority.  Work continues with the Playhouse board to leverage the City’s $14 million proposed investment against funding from other levels of government and the private sector to build the facility.

The City also remains committed to helping facilitate a much needed capacity upgrade to the Fredericton International Airport.  This is a shovel-ready project, which needs to leverage the airport’s $10 million investment against federal and provincial funding.

- Mayor Mike O’Brien, City of Fredericton, March 22, 2017