City Commits to Design Funds for New Regional Aquatics Facility

A new regional aquatics facility is one step closer to reality.  The City of Fredericton became the first municipality to commit funds to design the future facility.

Fredericton City Council said it will commit $1.4M toward design costs over the next two years, contingent on other communities in the region and the Province of New Brunswick also coming to the table to share the expense.

Fredericton’s contribution represents 50% of the total design cost, based on a regional cost-sharing model allocating 65% of design costs to municipalities and local service districts and the remaining 35% to the Province of New Brunswick. It is estimated about 30-40% of the users of the pool live in communities outside of the Capital City.

“Fredericton is ready to do its part to get this exciting project moving,” said Mayor Mike O’Brien. “It’s important for all partners to have a seat at the table while we proceed through the design phase and make critical decisions about our future regional aquatics centre.” Council also directed staff to engage directly with surrounding communities and begin to jointly work out a practical and fair regional governance model.

Last year, the Regional Service Commission 11 oversaw the Greater Fredericton Region Aquatics Facility Study. This feasibility study demonstrated the need for a new aquatics centre which could serve the recreational, wellness and competitive needs of the region in light of the impending closure of the University of New Brunswick’s Sir Max Aitken pool which is at the end of its life.

The study concluded a future aquatic facility should be located in the area of the Grant-Harvey Centre and have three tanks: a 25-metre competition-ready lane pool, a smaller leisure tank and a small therapy pool. It estimated the cost of a new facility at $30M with a further $7.6M set aside as a contingency.