Construction of New Westminster Aquatics and Community Centre temporarily suspended due to COVID-19

Construction on the New Westminster Aquatics and Community Centre (NWACC) will be temporarily suspended as a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on municipal operations.  As the recovery phase of the pandemic continues to evolve and the financial impacts are more fully understood, New Westminster City Council will re-evaluate the situation and provide further direction on construction timelines this fall.

“COVID-19 has created significant disruptions everywhere and we share the community’s disappointment that we are unable to proceed with the tender and construction phases of the new aquatics and community centre at this time,” said Mayor Jonathan Coté. “I do want to acknowledge the considerable work that has been completed on this project, including all the community consultation and the completion of the design documents. We have achieved many key milestones and I am confident that we are well-positioned to move forward with construction in the near future.”

The City of New Westminster has also been recently informed that its grant application to the Community, Culture and Recreation Federal/Provincial bilateral funding stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) was unsuccessful.

As a result of this funding outcome, and in accordance with Council’s prior decisions regarding the project scope and its contingency upon significant grant funding, the final design has focused on the Community Recreation Facility option.  This option includes an eight lane 50 m pool with two moveable bulkheads, a moveable floor, and spectator seating to maximize flexibility and use of this space.  This will include the ability to host local swim competitions.

“We are thrilled that the design for the new facility is now complete and ready to move towards construction at the appropriate time,” said Dean Gibson, Director of Parks and Recreation. “With the intentions to become the first aquatic facility in Canada to achieve the Canadian Green Building Council zero carbon building standard, this project not only aligns with the City’s Climate Action objectives but is positioned to support the recreation, sport, health and wellness needs of the community for decades to come.”

The second phase of the ICIP Community, Culture and Recreation program is expected in the fall of 2020. The Pool and Community Centre project is being repackaged to be ready for submission for this anticipated program as well as other potential federal and/or provincial stimulus funding programs. The project team will be adjusting plans as required and will be bringing an update to Council early in the fall.