Regina catalyst committee takes deep dive at new aquatic centre

Tuesdays Catalyst Committe public survey’s focus was on a new aquatic centre.

Highlighted in the Recreation Master Plan from 2019, a new indoor pool was ranked top priority according to the community. Its been on Coun. Bob Hawkis mind for a decade.

” We’ve been talking about an aquatic facility in my ten years on council. We’ve been talking about this; we know it’s imperative we know that the aquatic facility is at the end of its life,” said Hawkins. “It doesn’t meet international standards.”

Read more: Regina catalyst committee hears from public about future projects for downtown

Evaluations of the Lawson Aquatics centre found it wasn’t meeting the needs of the community.  Other findings included pools not offering the modern experience other municipalities had to offer. Local groups were often limited to the services they could offer, and athletes weren’t able to train as much as they might like.

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One issue the public took was the lack of available swimming lanes in Regina.

Jeanie Mah has been swimming in Regina her whole life. One of her childhood favorites, the Wascana outdoor pool used to have a 50-meter swimming lane. It has since been replaced with a 25-meter lane.  Mah says she was in a good group of people.

“At Wascana we had developed this amazing swim community. It really was a place where community came together.  We met all sorts of people we all became friends.”

Because the city has a lack for available lanes for her to use, she has often times travelled to other cities in order to keep up with her outdoor swimming needs. ” We have to go to other cities, so we had a holiday in Vancouver for a month to swim at a 50-meter outdoor pool, we’re going to go to France for a month to swim in a 50-meter pool.”

If the proposed plan goes through, the $170 million facility will have a wide array of amenities including:

  •  Water slides
  • A lazy river
  • Aquatic wellness and therapy services
  • Age-appropriate community spaces
  • Food services
  • National standard aquatics spaces and training areas
  • Dry land training areas
  • A fitness centre
  • Pool tanks with sports capabilities, i.e., water polo, synchro, speed swimming, etc.
  • A spectator area.

Two sites have been identified to house the new centre. That includes the site where the Lawson currently sits, and the rail yards.

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Read more: Interest groups excited for potential new sports facilities in Regina

With the new aquatic centre being the top priority for the Catalyst Committee, Co-Chair Tim Reid says choosing the location for it can be a domino effect for some of the other builds the city has in mind.

“The site selection for this is so important and I think it will actually influence some of the other decisions.” says Reid.

Unfortunately, time is not helping the decision process.  City council is hoping to gather 45 per cent of the funding from the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program or ICIP.

Deadlines are fast approaching; applications must be submitted by mid-March of 2023.  Plans are to have the recommendation before council in early January of 2023.

Wednesday’s topic of conversation is the multi-purpose baseball stadium and synthetic soccer field.

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