The Future New West Aquatics & Community Centre

The Future New West Aquatics & Community Centre

Proposed Program

We’ve taken the findings from the public engagement process and along with the demand study and have used them to inform the proposed building program and site layout. As of our latest public engagement process, over 90% of respondents agree the proposed design supports the community principles of flexibility, accessibility, sustainability, social connectivity and connectivity to nature. Here are some examples of how the proposed design and programming supports these community principles:

Flexibility

It was identified early on that different age groups and demographics seek different programs at both the pool and community centre therefore the new facility must accommodate varied user priorities through the provision of multipurpose spaces. Flexibility has been incorporated into the design of the future facility with multipurpose rooms, and spaces that can be adapted over time as community needs and priorities change.

  • Play zones for different age groups allowing for various types of activities and play.
  • Various types of uses for the pools including a lazy river which can be used for leisure and therapeutic programming.
  • Multi-generational and flexible spaces for mixed-uses which can also support parties and special community events.
  • The pool design includes a moveable floor, and bulkheads that allow for multiple configurations to ensure maximum flexibility in programming.

Accessibility

The project team is taking measurable action on this principle through targeting Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Gold Certification. The rating system goes beyond minimal accessibility requirements, standards, and guidelines through encouraging universal design that considers accessibility based on all users of a site. The system takes into consideration people with differing levels of abilities related to mobility, auditory, vision, and dexterity.

  • Accessible designated parking spaces, including provision for van parking, will be provided on both sides of the facility while ensuring that there is a direct and safe path of travel to the buildings entrance from the parking area.
  • All grab bars, faucets, soap dispensers and other fixtures will be designed to best practices within sanitary facilities.
  • Adult change tables will be provided.
  • The pools will provide a range of access types including beach entry, ramp entry, transfer edge and lift.
  • In the fitness centre a variety of accessible fitness equipment will be provided ensuring to accommodate users with a variety of mobility needs.
  • A clear path of travel through the fitness centre providing an accessible route.

Sustainability

The NWACC project is a great opportunity for the City of New Westminster to demonstrate leadership in energy efficiency and low-emission practices. The NWACC sustainability vision aligns with the Pan-Canadian Framework to reduce its GHG emissions to 40% below 2005 levels by 2030, and the BC Climate Leadership Plan target to reduce by 80% its GHG emissions by 2050 based on the 2007 level. To do so, the NWACC is striving to align with the requirements of the CaGBC Zero Carbon Building Standard that requires a Zero Carbon Balance and a high building energy performance.

  • The NWACC is mandated to target LEED v4 BD+C Gold certification.
  • Optimizing the architectural design and ensuring the building is integrated into its environment, making use of the natural capital of the site (e.g. sun, wind) to reduce the building’s heating and cooling loads.
  • Capturing rain water from the roof surface to be used for pool fill and top-up.
  • Using abundant daylighting with carefully applied shading strategies to reduce the dependency on artificial light and control glare and unwanted summer heat gains.
  • Extensive use of natural vegetation (trees, plants, and grasses) for site landscaping will aid in storm water management, carbon sequestration, and reduction of heat island effects.

Social Connectivity

The new facilities are envisioned as a community heart, providing programming, cultural celebrations, community meeting spaces, and more. By including spaces, such as cafés and other amenities, the new centre will become a hub for community building and interaction.

  • The facility design allows for a large lobby / circulation space with cafe and concession that will act as the facility’s main social gathering space.
  • The lobby will be heart of the facility, providing a space for people to gather and socialize. This will be further solidified with the open design in conjunction with plenty of social seating, supplemented by some additional areas on the second floor.
  • Social seating will extend to the exterior landscape of the building and will include covered areas.
  • Seating will be provided at regular intervals to allow people to rest.

Connectivity to Nature

The proposed design includes enhancing connections between the facility and the natural elements surrounding it by adding green spaces to the current existing ones and connecting the facility to the nature surrounding it.

  • Connecting the facility with wider pedestrian and cycle network and using it to create a cohesive green space across the site through the introduction of a green link pathway that runs north-south through the project site.
  • Hard landscaping surrounding the building can also be programmed to connect the indoor spaces to the surrounding green spaces – bringing the indoors outside.
  • Landscaping will include open lawn spaces for additional outdoor programming, lounging and play.
  • Consideration for Indigenous plants and plants that have traditionally been used for medicine. The plants would be labeled with their names and uses, providing an educational opportunity.
  • The design of the site will include a rainwater retention wetland, to pay homage to the Glenbrook Ravine which previously ran through the site, which will be dry most of the time, but give some features of a wetland landscape with walk ways.