Mayor Gerald Aalbers was visibly surprised by construction costs after the Recreation Facilities Feasibility Study was accepted in City Council on Monday.
“The numbers that were presented in the report are staggering. This is not going to be a cheap endeavour,” said Aalbers.
To build a new arena or pool facility, the City is looking at having to spend a minimum of $40 million.
“I think it’s important that tax payers and users understand that these facilities are not cheap.”
He noted the Aquatic Centre was built in the late eighties while the hockey arena was established long before that.
“The Civic Centre is aging faster than the BioClean Aquatic Centre. It’s also older. It was built as a centennial project in 1967.”
One of the main decisions to be looked at is whether or not the facilities should be joined together in one location.
“There’s benefits to having recreation facilities combined, there’s also benefits to ensuring recreation facilities are spread around the city,” said Aalbers.
Aalbers mentioned there will not be any further decisions made until the new council is voted in.
However, he wants to hear from residents about the building revamps before making any decisions considering the cost.
“There’s a lot of factors that need to be considered and the discussions that we have with people so that they’re fully informed. I would like to be able to have taxpayers say, ‘I went to a meeting and I heard all about it and I think they’re on the right track’ or ‘We need some more work on things’,” said Aalbers.
The next set of council members will be taking a look at grants and funding to hopefully help alleviate the large numbers the City is looking at.
Aalbers noted he is hoping to keep the current facilities thriving in the meantime.
Since this is the first look at improvements to these recreational facilities, the Mayor said there is still a long way to go.