The Future New West Aquatics & Community Centre

The Future New West Aquatics & Community Centre

2019 Public Engagement Results

Facility Naming Public Engagement Results – March 2020

The City of New Westminster is currently in the process of identifying a name for the new aquatics and community centre. A Joint Naming Advisory Panel has been established to recommend an Indigenous name to Council for the new facility.

In December 2019 and January 2020 the City undertook a public engagement process to gather community input to help inform the Panel’s name development and considerations. The purpose of the engagement was to gather input from the community to help inform the panel, rather than seek specific name suggestions. The City gathered input and stories from New Westminster residents on what this space means to them and to our community now and in the future.

Approximately 300 community members provided their input through an online survey and an open house.

Participants were asked to share their priorities for important activities and principles for the new centre, what about the proposed space has the most impact for them, what the centre will be known for, and what they envision doing in the new facility. The top priorities and themes we heard include recreation, health and fitness, wellbeing, swimming, socializing, community, accessibility, flexibility, sustainability, and learning new skills. At the open house, “move” and “participate” were the top two words chosen by participants in a word-cluster activity. Survey participants were also asked to share their favourite story or memory from Canada Games Pool and/or Centennial Community Centre, and we heard many touching stories about generations of families all learning to swim at Canada Games Pool, connecting with friends, family and community, kids’ birthday parties, programs such as dance classes and mom & baby programs, and more.

Next Steps

The Joint Naming Advisory Panel will consider the input received through the public engagement process, and will work to develop a suggested name for the new facility. In the coming months, the panel’s name suggestion and a summary report about the panel process will be delivered to New Westminster City Council, along with this summary report of public engagement input. Council will then make the final decision about what the name of the new aquatics and community centre will be.

For more information on the feedback received during the engagement process, please see the Naming Engagement Summary Report

Community Update – June 2019

Thank you to everyone who participated in our most recent phase of engagement for the Future New West Aquatics and Community Centre!

Through our engagement activities in the spring of 2019 with the broad community, local Indigenous peoples, and community groups regarding privacy swims, we received feedback to further improve on the needs of the community to ensure they are reflected in the new facility.

Here’s what we heard:

  • Over 90% of respondents agree the proposed design supports the community principles of flexibility, accessibility, sustainability, social connectivity and connectivity to nature.
  • The top aquatic priorities are swimming lessons, fitness swimming and sports/training.
  • The top priorities for recreation are overwhelmingly health and fitness and enjoying sport for recreation.
  • In terms of outdoor activities for young children aged 2-9, respondents showed a preference for adventure and climbing, and youth aged 9-15 showed a strong preference for pick-up sports courts with movie nights and social seating areas.

Indigenous, LGBTQ and Muslim consultation feedback

Feedback from the Indigenous, LGBTQ and Muslim communities included:

  • Need for culturally relevant spaces and appropriate representation of Indigenous culture.
  • Safe and welcoming spaces for Indigenous people, particularly youth.
  • Decreasing barriers to access including subsidy programs for youth and low-income families.
  • Desire for privacy swims to facilitate participation in aquatic activities in a safe and inclusive environment.

For more information on the feedback received during the engagement process, please see the 2019 Community Engagement Report.

2018 Public Engagement Results

From February to April of 2018, the City of New Westminster led a broad community and stakeholder engagement process which aimed to:

  • Update the community on the process and decisions made to date
  • Check-in with the community about the feasibility study and recommended option
  • Explore trade-offs and how the community’s values will be reflected in the facility and programming
  • Provide the community with information and check-in expectations about costs

The graphs below provide a high level overview of what we heard from the consultation process in 2018. A more detailed summary of information and the outcomes from the engagement process can be found in the HCMA Public Engagement Report – June2018

2016 Public Engagement Results

From May to September 2016, we asked the community and stakeholders to weigh in on the future of recreation in New Westminster. This extensive process took place in order to ensure The Future New West Aquatics and Community Centre would reflect the requirements, needs and identity of the New Westminster community. The process involved numerous stakeholder workshops with a variety of user groups, public open houses and an online survey.

The survey received particularly high levels of participation which resulted in a high degree of data granularity and accuracy. Residents and stakeholders expressed a desire for a recreational and community amenities that will advance New Westminster’s rich tradition of sports excellence; with welcoming and inclusive gathering spaces for all for all ages, genders, incomes, cultural practices, physical and mental abilities.

What we heard infographic

  • 98% of residents said that the aquatic or community centres were “very important” or “somewhat important” to the identity and community of New Westminster.
  • Both facilities have loyal, regular users, who have high levels of satisfaction, however, there are also a significant proportion of New Westminster residents who don’t regularly use the facility. These tend to be younger adults and families.
  • 59% of residents said they’d be “more likely” to visit the aquatics centre if it were replaced. This was especially true for those aged 18 to 34. The age of the facility and accessibility hinders visits to both the pool and community centre.

The following were identified as top priorities for aquatics, fitness and community programming:

  • spaces for swimming lessons
  • lengths for fitness swimming
  • a leisure pool
  • programming for group fitness classes
  • workout spaces with cardio equipment and free weights
  • pickleball courts
  • child-minding spaces and playtimes for tiny tots

Different age groups and demographics seek different programs at both the pool and community centre, which are not necessarily represented by the top priorities listed above. A new facility must accommodate varied user priorities through the provision of multipurpose spaces.

We’ve taken the findings from the public engagement process and along with the demand study, have used them to inform the proposed building program and site layout. It has been determined that the existing Canada Games Pool and Centennial Community Centre will remain operational during construction.