Construction is expected to begin in the of spring 2020 on a major retrofit and expansion at the Cowichan Aquatic Centre. (File photo)

Major retrofit will shut down Cowichan Aquatic Centre for part of 2020

Public can expect closures and program disruptions

Construction is expected to begin in the of spring 2020 on a major, approximately $2.8-million, retrofit and expansion at the Cowichan Aquatic Centre.

Now more than 10 years old, the facility’s popularity means it needs this expansion to meet the growing needs of the children, youth, adults, and seniors that use the facility on a daily basis.

RELATED STORY: COWICHAN AQUATIC CENTRE TO UNDERGO MAJOR REFIT

This expansion at the centre, co-owned by the Municipality of North Cowichan and the City of Duncan, will deliver major improvements to the facility, including an expanded competitive pool deck, new folding bleachers, additional community program space, expansion of the upstairs gym and group fitness rooms, and new private spaces for fitness consultations.

During construction, it will be necessary to close the second floor of the building for a number of months and to close the entire building for approximately six weeks.

Exact closure times are not yet known and may not be confirmed until the end of 2019.

However, the annual maintenance shutdown that usually occurs in August will be accommodated during the construction period so that an additional maintenance shutdown is not required in 2020.

“I know that closures will be inconvenient for facility users and I thank the community in advance for its patience and support for this project during the shut-down,” said North Cowichan Mayor Al Siebring.

“The need for this facility to grow is a reflection of how important and well-used this facility is in our community.” Significant advance notice of the retrofit and expansion project is intended to provide facility users with adequate notice, to develop a strong project plan, and to secure a construction contractor for the work.”

RELATED STORY: ANOTHER $400K NEEDED FOR EXPANSION AT COWICHAN AQUATIC CENTRE

It is expected that a request for proposals for a construction company will be issued in fall or winter of 2019.

Major funding for the project will come from a $2.4-million grant from the Federal Gas Tax Fund, which was announced last March.

Since the facility opened in 2008, its swim club has expanded significantly, outgrowing the very limited space on the pool deck where warm-ups, cool-downs and training occur.

In addition, the fitness and wellness portion of the building is currently overcrowded and unable to expand its programming.

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