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#1 G-Man

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Posted 12 January 2007 - 01:15 PM

Crystal Pool keep-up a costly affair



By Brennan Clarke
Victoria News
Jan 12 2007


City councillors not anxious to throw good money after bad

The rising cost of maintenance at Victoria’s aging Crystal Pool has some councillors demanding progress on plans to build a new recreation centre in the city.

Commenting on proposed annual maintenance costs in excess of $900,000 for the coming fiscal year, Coun. Geoff Young suggested the money would be better spent building a new pool and recreation centre.

“This is now a major expenditure program of close to $1 million a year,” he said Tuesday during the first of three special council meetings held to examine the 2007-08 municipal budget.

“My fear is that at some point we’re going to have to say ‘this is ridiculous.’ We’re going to say ‘we can’t afford to do this.’

“At some point it’s going to be cheaper to hire a taxi to go swimming in Saanich.”

The city recreation department unveiled a redevelopment plan for Crystal Pool in 2004, but the proposal called for the closure of several Victoria community centres and met with stiff opposition.

Since then the recreation department has conducted several rounds of consultation, but made precious little progress. Last spring, the department hired a consultant to help organize a community forum in June and “collate” the feedback with the goal of developing a plan some time in the fall.

Recreation director Donna Atkinson told council a steering committee is slated to hold further meetings beginning in February.

Coun. Helen Hughes warned that rushing into another ill-conceived plan would be a mistake.

“The steps need to be taken extremely carefully or else we do not carry the rest of Victoria along with us,” she said.

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#2 ressen

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Posted 13 January 2007 - 02:30 PM

Why is it that Victoria has no outdoor public pool. If the crystal pool was to be built elsewhere; how about in the area north of old-town (have we decided on a name for this area yet?) No... then I'm going to call it the Discovery District.

#3 amor de cosmos

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 08:14 PM

Since funding for the Crystal Pool is on the City's application to the federal government why not start a thread about it (if there isn't one already).



#4 pseudotsuga

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 11:19 PM

Well I would love to see a new or improved facility there.

#5 victorian fan

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 08:29 AM

They just built the darn thing. (thinks back) Good heavens, it's that old? :eek:

#6 Mike K.

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 09:46 AM

The TC article that mentioned the project pegs the cost at just under $60 million.

Victoria will go bankrupt if it keeps this up: $60 million for a bridge; $60 million for a rec centre; hundreds of millions for sewage treatment, etc, etc.

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#7 yodsaker

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 11:20 AM

They just built the darn thing. (thinks back) Good heavens, it's that old? :eek:



Looks like you're older than you thought....:D

#8 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 12:15 PM

They ought to build it on the Radius site, it already has potential for an extra deep pool. So they could not only have an Olympic size pool in terms of surface area, they could also have one in which to teach deep sea diving in a controlled environment.

#9 Nparker

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Posted 02 May 2009 - 12:28 PM

They ought to build it on the Radius site, it already has potential for an extra deep pool. So they could not only have an Olympic size pool in terms of surface area, they could also have one in which to teach deep sea diving in a controlled environment.


LOL!:D

#10 amor de cosmos

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 03:26 PM

The TC article that mentioned the project pegs the cost at just under $60 million.

Victoria will go bankrupt if it keeps this up: $60 million for a bridge; $60 million for a rec centre; hundreds of millions for sewage treatment, etc, etc.


iirc $60 million for a new centennial square & library also

#11 Nparker

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 07:46 PM

Dean Fortin = the 60 million dollar man.

#12 victriviaqueen

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 08:04 PM

Dean Fortin = the 60 million dollar man.


Hahaah, FTW.
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#13 Phil McAvity

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 12:59 AM

Why does the Crystal need replacing? I was a regular there for years and the only thing I ever saw wrong with it was a small leak from one of it's huge skylights but since the water dripped into the pool, it wasn't exactly a problem. The crystal even had a way better steam room than commonwealth.

I can think of way better ways to spend taxpayer money.
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#14 pseudotsuga

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 12:36 PM

It is a funky old building, but I think there is more than one leak.
It would be great to have a full service rec centre there like other munis have, not just an aging pool.

But I agree, Victoria does have more pressing issues.
And it is reasonably well served by private facilities (plus Oak Bay/Saanich facilities!).

#15 amor de cosmos

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Posted 08 May 2009 - 04:39 PM

Dean Fortin = the 60 million dollar man.

Hahaah, FTW.


$60 million for the hillside mall expansion... :P

#16 amor de cosmos

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Posted 11 May 2009 - 04:57 PM

$500 million over the next two yrs for recreational infrastructure across the country:
http://www.actionpla...dia.asp?id=1475
FCM prez response:
http://www.newswire....9/11/c2856.html

#17 amor de cosmos

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 07:43 AM

$58-million dream for Crystal
City applies for stimulus funds to replace aging swimming pool

By Bill Cleverley, Times Colonist
May 12, 2009

Decision time is drawing near for the money pit known as the Crystal Pool.

The City of Victoria has earmarked the pool for replacement in its application for federal government stimulus funds -- at an estimated cost of $58 million.

If not replaced, the 38-year old Crystal will need $10 million to pump 10 more years of life into mechanical systems that are obsolete.

It already takes $1 million a year and minor mechanical miracles to keep systems operating.

"The building is lovely but the guts inside it are old. ... It's more than run its lifetime, so the question is: Do you keep on patching and making it work?" said Coun. Chris Coleman.

"It's worked well in the '70s but it's very costly to maintain," said Kate Friars, city director of parks, recreation and community development. "I would say if we don't invest, at the very minimum, the $10 million to the mechanical systems we've identified through the various studies over the past few years ... we would have to probably recommend decommissioning [of the pool] within the next five years.

"I just don't think, financially, it makes any sense to keep it going."

Friars said that while a $10-million investment might buy another 10 years of life for the facility's systems, it wouldn't address space limitations or the aging wood-frame structure itself.

"That's just the mechanical systems: heating, ventilation, plumbing and some filtration. It doesn't give us any more usable space and it still is an inaccessible facility for the disabled," Friars said.

The Crystal is popular, with about 300,000 people a year crossing its threshold.

Replacing it has been a topic of debate for years.

In 2004, the city considered a $38-million plan to overhaul of a number of its recreation facilities, including $18.5 million for replacement of the Crystal's pool. The idea died due to opposition to a plan to close a number of community and senior centres in favour of creating satellite recreation centres.

The city applied for $58 million in federal-provincial infrastructure stimulus funding for replacing the pool as its second choice for funding. Its top choice is $60 million for replacing the Johnson Street Bridge.

The $58 million is a huge jump from the $18.5 million estimate from 2004, but the lower price tag would have been for a bare-bones replacement, Friars said. The new rough estimate envisages a multi-purpose facility of about 90,000 square feet equipped with pools, a fitness centre, one or more gymnasiums and multi-purpose rooms.

Even to the casual observer, to look at the inner workings of the Crystal Pool is to step back in time. Built in 1971 as a replacement for the Crystal Gardens pool, some of the 1960s-vintage guts of the operation -- the boilers, fans and some of the piping -- were imported from the old pool.

"The majority of our major systems are obsolete or near obsolescence," said Sean Beatty, maintenance supervisor.

As the first competitive swimming pool built for south Vancouver Island, the facility produced several world-class swimmers over the years. But competitive swimmers were largely drawn away from the Crystal in 1993 with the opening of Saanich's Commonwealth Place.

Through the mid to late 1980s, the Crystal was reinvented as a facility for community recreation. That saw the addition of a couple of tot pools to augment the 50-metre lap pool.

Other activities have been shoe-horned. An old downstairs storage room was converted into a combination dance, yoga, meeting and babysitting room. Yoga mats are spread out in hallways behind the pool's concrete viewing stands.

Coleman said no one would build a building like the Crystal today. "Classic to me are the concrete stands as a seating area. In a new building now, you'd have seats that roll out and then roll back to give you some functional space," he said.

http://www.timescolo...7924/story.html

#18 VicHockeyFan

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 08:51 AM

Bah the arena only cost $30m

#19 aastra

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Posted 12 May 2009 - 09:04 AM

Commonwealth Place cost $22 million back in 1993. If they're talking ~$60 million then they must be thinking of a comparable facility.

http://www.durwest.c...cts.php?catid=3

So would parking be underground in the new centre?

#20 Holden West

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Posted 01 September 2009 - 09:25 AM

I wonder when the City will begin the replacement process?


Bwah ha ha ha haaa!

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