File photo of CVRD Aquatic Centre

File photo of CVRD Aquatic Centre

Draft aquatic strategy available for public review

A draft Comox Valley Aquatics Strategy commissioned by the Comox Valley Regional District (CVRD) and the City of Courtenay has been presented to city council and the Comox Valley Recreation Commission, and is available to the public for review.

The Comox Valley is served by three publicly-funded aquatics facilities: CVRD Sports Centre Pool, the Courtenay and District Memorial Outdoor Pool, and the CVRD Aquatic Centre. The draft strategy recommends strategically investing to increase the quality, efficiency, and sustainability of existing aquatic facilities, and proposes service levels and operational requirements over a 25-year horizon.

“We know from the response to the engagement process last year how strongly residents and community groups in the Comox Valley value their access to aquatic services,” said Melanie McCollum, chair of the Rec Commission and Courtenay councillor. “These facilities and programs contribute to our quality of life, whether it’s for recreation, skill development, fitness, physical therapy, or social connection. We look forward to hearing what our community has to say about the draft strategy.”

Key Recommendations Include:

•Supporting equitable access to facilities and services for all residents;

•Increasing capacity and participation in water sports and activities;

•Efficient and effective use of resources such as reducing Greenhouse Gas emissions;

•Aligning facilities with the changing trends in pool use to provide better service;

•Additional capacity for aquatic services in the Comox Valley will not be required for at least two decades;

•Planning for long-term investment in public aquatic facilities will require co-operation between all local public entities and agencies.

The draft strategy considers various aquatic facility options, including maintaining or reconstructing these pools at their current locations; relocating one or both facilities to the site of the Aquatic Centre; or relocating the outdoor pool or indoor/outdoor pools to a new location elsewhere in the Valley.

The report and its analysis will inform the long-term planning process that is underway for the Rec Commission, as well as future considerations for recreation services operated by the City of Courtenay. Potential scenarios and costs presented in the draft strategy are for consideration only. Before any decision is made on specific future upgrades to aquatics services, comprehensive community consultation would occur.

The draft was developed with input gathered through extensive community-wide consultation beginning early last year. Households, organizations, and community partners contributed through surveys and conversations. Consultation in 2022 included postcards distributed to households throughout the Comox Valley with a link to an online survey.

All feedback will be reviewed and considered as the strategy is finalized. The final version is expected to be presented to the City and the CVRD in the spring.

Review the draft Aquatics Strategy and provide feedback by March 6. Hard copies of the draft are available for review at the Lewis Centre, Florence Filberg Centre, The LINC Youth Centre, Courtenay City Hall, Comox Valley Sports Centre, Comox Valley Aquatic Centre, and the Vancouver Island Regional Library (Courtenay Branch).

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