UBC's existing aquatic facilities (including the Aquatic Centre, which began operation in the late 1970s, and Empire Pool, built in 1954) are reaching the end of their useful lives. A new Aquatic Centre is being designed to strike a balance between a high performance competition facility and a neighbourhood leisure facility, and will feature:
- Competition length pool (50m)
- Recreational lap pool (25m)
- Leisure pool
- Family change rooms
- Other amenities
The new facility will replace both Empire Pool and the existing Aquatic Centre.
A feasibility study was conducted to determine options for either building a new aquatics facility or refurbishing the existing aquatic centre, and considered a variety of criteria including: public needs/wants, functionality, existing building condition, campus fit, social, financial and environmental aspects, sustainability, heritage value and architectural impact. The feasibility study has been provided as input into the Gage South and Environs planning process. The Gage South & Environs Working Group is exploring various possibilities for the location of the new aquatic facility.
Before we can finalize the size of the aquatic centre, we need to check in with the faculty, staff, students and residents to make sure all the necessary elements of an aquatic centre have been considered. The planned elements were determined by experienced aquatic facility architects, with input from the UNA and UBC Athletics.
The two public open houses that were held on September 20th and September 21st, were about the program elements that will make up the new facility. Once we know the program is right, final confirmation will be given to the Gage South and Environs Working Group on how much space the new aquatic centre will require.
The public was invited to provide feedback on the proposed new aquatic centre program until September 30th. Further public consultation on the possible location of the new Aquatic Centre will take place in late October/early November as part of the Gage South & Environs public consultation.