City of Richmond Moves Forward with Plans for Major New Aquatic and Older Adults' Centres
14 November 2013
Richmond City Council has formally approved a $79.6 million plan to construct a major new aquatic centre and older adults’ centre in Minoru Park by 2017.
“It is critical that we move forward with the construction of these new facilities to meet the needs of our growing community,” said Mayor Malcolm Brodie. “This new plan will ensure we can upgrade these important civic facilities without a disruption in service to the public and with minimal financial impact on our taxpayers.”
Replacement of the aging Minoru Aquatic Centre and Minoru Place Seniors Centre were among Council’s top priorities for its current term. Parts of the Minoru Aquatics Centre are more than 50 years old and it is lacking in many modern amenities. The Minoru Place Seniors Centre is inadequate to meet the long-term needs of Richmond’s rapidly growing population of older adults.
The new facilities will be built on a site near the southwest corner of Minoru Park. The adjacent Minoru Pavilion will be demolished and programming provided there will be incorporated into the new facilities. The selection of this new site for the two facilities ensures there will be no disruption of service for facility users during construction.
The City will finance the projects through use of reserves and borrowing of approximately $50.8 million to take advantage of low interest rates. The financing plan ensures that there will be no property tax increases or operating budget impacts in order to fund construction of the new buildings. The City’s only current debt is scheduled to be paid off in 2014. As a result, Richmond will be able to reallocate current debt payments, along with casino revenue sharing funds, to cover borrowing costs.
Council also endorsed an extensive public consultation program, which will ensure the community has input into the design and programming of the new facilities.
The two projects are part of a comprehensive $123.7 million major capital program which will also see completion of a new City Centre Community Centre, now under construction, and replacement of the City’s No. 1 Fire Hall, which also houses Richmond Fire-Rescue’s administration offices.