One of Regina’s mayoral candidates has announced her intentions of building a new aquatic centre in the city if elected.
Sandra Masters announced on Wednesday morning that the cost for this proposed year-round facility is estimated at $85 million. Funding would be drawn from municipal, provincial and federal governments each pitching in 30 per cent or $25.5 million. The remaining 10 per cent or $8.5 million would come from private investment and fundraising.
The facility would be open to the public by 2024 or early 2025. Public engagement involving assessment and feasibility modeling would be the first steps in her plan, which would happen throughout 2021. Concept and detailed designs would commence in late 2021 and into early 2022.
Construction would begin in 2022 and would run for two years.
The facility would address Regina’s recreational and competitive needs so that athletes, seniors and families have an adequate home for their aquatic activities, according to Masters.
“My commitment as your mayor is to envision a plan that will ensure our children will be swimming in a facility of comparable quality and accessibility like those in other communities and [offer] four-seasoned sport and recreation opportunities,” stated Masters.
“It will improve quality of life, and make Regina more vibrant and an attractive place to live, work and visit.”
Masters mentioned how the top priority from the city’s 2010 and 2019 Recreational Master Plan was to bring in new or upgraded facilities in the city, however she said nothing was done with that plan.
She reaffirmed that her plan will provide the necessary next steps to see that plan come to fruition.
While Masters doesn’t know exactly where the new facility would be located, she hopes it could be established in a centrally-located area of the city – essentially in or near downtown.
When asked what this means for the Lawson Aquatic Centre near Evraz Place, she said her proposed centre would probably take over for the 45-year-old building.
“I would think that it would close and the whole idea – in terms of revitalization – is to replace that existing facility,” explained Masters. “We know there are significant problems with it and we continue to renovate it. There is the air quality issue, there is a lack of ability to have any spectator sports in terms of national competitions.”
Masters mentioned how there could be add-ons to the future aquatic centre. She said her intention would be to have a plan where there was the capability of building other infrastructure connected to or near the pool such as a multi-rec facility or library.
Reginans vote in the municipal election on November 9.