Current Status Page image

Current Status Page Image

Current Status

December 2018

Over the past year, significant work has taken place on advancing the New Westminster Aquatics and Community Centre project.

From February to April 2018, the City of New Westminster led a broad community and stakeholder engagement process to check-in with the community on the proposed program concept for the new facility which is a community-focused aquatic centre that can accommodate competitive training and small-scale competitions. Throughout the engagement process, the community demonstrated strong support for the proposed project and design concept. However, there was also desire from the Hyack Swim Club for an enhanced facility that would support local and regional level swimming competitions.

In June 2018, New Westminster City Council passed a recommendation to pursue two design options for the new facility:

Option 1
A community recreation facility that includes elements such as a leisure aquatics tank, aquatics program tank (which provides some competition hosting and training capabilities), enhanced fitness centre, multipurpose rooms, gymnasium, and childcare facility. This option is consistent with the feedback and results of the community engagement process.

Option 2
A design option that includes all the community recreation components included in option 1 with augmented competition components that include two additional swim lanes, wider deck space, and additional spectator seating. As these additional components would increase the total budget by approximately $10-15 million, this design option is contingent on the City of New Westminster successfully obtaining significant senior Government grant funding.

To help inform and guide the planning of the new facility, an advisory panel has been formed that includes representatives from the community. A call for participants was issued this fall, and panel members will work over the next year to provide feedback to New Westminster Parks and Recreation staff. City staff are also in the midst of preparing an application for a Canada Infrastructure Program grant for community, culture, and recreation facilities which will be submitted in January 2019.

Currently, the project is now in the schematic design phase being conducted by the architectural and design team, HCMA Architecture + Design. This phase involves developing concepts that explore the organization and character of the building in relation to the site and requirements of the program space. Once the schematic design is completed in early 2019, the City will hold public information sessions for the community to review the design to ensure that it reflects the values and principles established at the beginning of the project.

We are very proud of the work achieved to date on the New Westminster Aquatics and Community Centre, and once again, we would like to thank everyone for their input and participation. We look forward to continuing to work with the community on this exciting project as we advance to the construction phase beginning in 2020.


In 2016, the City of New Westminster engaged the community and stakeholders to provide preliminary direction and feedback on the ageing CGP and CCC facilities. This thorough process included numerous stakeholder workshops with a variety of user groups, public open houses, and an online survey. The ‘Your Active New West’ community and stakeholder consultation project helped raise awareness, determine priorities around functional programming, and establish a vision and guiding principles for the project.

HCMA Architecture + Design was commissioned to undertake a 2017 feasibility study (PDF – 4.7 MB), and make recommendations regarding the replacement of the ageing facilities (as part of the wider renewal of the site). The firm explored options for the spatial and functional programming of a new Aquatic and Community Centre, including its optimal location on the existing site.

Deciding on a proposed aquatic program can be a complex process – the ultimate decision is based on a number of factors such as demand, future needs and emerging trends, as well as a community’s identity and aspirations. As such, programmatic components were divided into three distinct groups to aid in the decision-making process and help determine a budget:

Base Program
Core spaces, which are included in almost all modern aquatic facilities (e.g., welcome centre, social gathering space, staff areas, changing rooms, hot pools, steam & sauna, leisure pool, and fitness centre).

Main Aquatic Tank
Based on demand capacity and programmatic needs, as well as the desired aquatic focus of the facility (e.g. competitive vs. recreational use). The feasibility study has identified the need for a 50m, eight-lane pool tank with a moveable floor and two moveable bulkheads. The pool depth would accommodate 1m and 3m springboards.

Optional Components
Additional spaces that meet community and fitness program priorities.

Proposed programming options were presented to the New Westminster City Council and staff along with a decision-making framework. They were asked to review and make their selections from each of the three groups of program components. These results – along with a demand analysis study, business case, in-person stakeholder interviews, and public engagement survey results – were used to determine the proposed building program and budget.

From February to April of 2018 the City of New Westminster led a broad community and stakeholder engagement process to check-in with the community about the proposed program components for the new facility. The results of this phase of consultation can be found in the HCMA Public Engagement Report – June2018

The feedback received throughout the public engagement process have reinforced the importance of these two facilities to local residents and stakeholders. This information will inform planning of the new facility, and ensure its aquatic, fitness, and community spaces reflect the unique values, history, and identity of New Westminster.