Victoria has issued a request for proposals for an architect to design the new Crystal Pool, even though sources of funding for the $69.4-million project remain unclear.
“The best way to get funding is to actually have a project to fund, whether we need to go to the public through [a] referendum or to the federal and provincial governments,” said Mayor Lisa Helps.
“Both [levels of government] are looking for projects that they could fund and then see a start right away.”
The city has $10 million in reserves to put toward the project, but the balance, minus outside grants, would have to be borrowed, triggering a referendum.
Helps added that the federal government “has announced all this infrastructure funding but [has] very little to show for it.”
Thomas Soulliere, director of parks, recreation and facilities, agreed it’s helpful to have a project that is “shovel-ready” when funding programs are announced.
“If we don’t get all the funding required through grant programs, then we’ll be using all of this material that we’re developing as part of the referendum process to make sure that residents and citizens understand what, essentially, they would be authorizing the city to build,” Soulliere said.
The request for proposals says the new facility will contain a 50-metre pool and a leisure/therapy pool and “will be accessible for patrons of all ages and abilities.”
The architect would be responsible for designing an environmentally friendly facility with a capacity to serve 35 per cent more patrons than use the existing pool, working with Turnbull Construction Project Managers, which has been selected as the city’s representative on the project.
The facility would use green technologies that make the building more energy-efficient and reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.