The Towns of Osoyoos and Oliver and the Osoyoos Indian Band are looking at the feasibility of a regional aquatic centre. (Metro Creative Graphics)

The Towns of Osoyoos and Oliver and the Osoyoos Indian Band are looking at the feasibility of a regional aquatic centre. (Metro Creative Graphics)

Proposed South Okanagan Aquatics Centre to cost around $54 million

The facility would be phased in to include swimming lanes, leisure pool and fitness centre

The initial figures are in and a new aquatic centre for the South Okanagan could cost around $54 million.

That is the price tag for the first two phases of the proposed facility presented to Osoyoos and Oliver councils in September.

The cost reflects the expected needs for the community following surveying of the public and studying other communities.

The study is the result of a collaboration between the towns of Oliver and Osoyoos and the Osoyoos Indian Band. A committee made up of representatives from the local communities has been working together on devising a facility that can serve the needs of all the residents in the region.

READ MORE: Public being asked what they want to see at future South Okanagan Aquatics Centre

Feedback from the public showed that the largest demand was for a facility that could satisfy the recreational needs of the region, provide space for family aquatic programs and swimming lessons, and provide some space for lanes for competitive swimming.

The first phase would cover 4,080 square-metres, and would include a six lane 25 metre lap pool, a hot tub, a 300 square-metre leisure and therapy pool, change rooms, a 200 square-metre fitness space and a 360 square-metre multi-purpose community space.

The initial phase is estimated to cost $42 million, and it is proposed to be located off Highway 97 at the north end of Osoyoos Lake at the end of Fruitvale Way, putting it between both Oliver and Osoyoos.

The second phase would add an indoor waterslide, a gymnasium, and additional storage for about $12 million.

The facility is also expected to operate at a deficit at least for the first five years, with additional expenses of $612,000 to $690,000 a year.

Further in the future, a possible third phase has been included in the planning which would add cultural facilities and a new ice rink, however there was no cost estimate listed for the expansion.

The study did lay out possible cost sharing for the project, including allocating costs based on population, residence, or a blend that would take into account both property tax assessments and census data for population.

Under the blended model, the Town of Oliver would be looking at paying a quarter of the costs for the first two phases, or $13 million. The Town of Osoyoos would pay for 34 per cent or $18 million, the Osoyoos Indian Band nine per cent or $4.7 million, and the remaining costs being split between residents in the regional district.

Following the presentation, the aquatic centre will be going to the Regional District of Okanagan Similkameen for further consideration, a funding plan will need to be created, and further work on the potential site for the centre will need to be done including working with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.

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