Langford ready to make splash with $30-million aquatic centre

Today’s groundbreaking for a $30-million aquatic centre in Langford marks the beginning of a partnership between the City of Langford, Westhills Land Corp. and the YM/YWCA.

Westhills will build the facility and lease it to the YM/YWCA. Langford will pay $750,000 a year to the YMCA for providing the services offered at the centre. Located off Langford Parkway near City Centre Park, the facility will feature a 25-metre pool, lazy river, warm-water therapy pool, wave pool and two waterslides. A gymnasium, youth centre, health-and-fitness facility and daycare also will be included.

The project is about to go to tender and is expected to open in early 2016.

The only uncertainty is whether it will include a library. Talks are ongoing between Langford and the Greater Victoria Public Library board.

“We’d certainly like to see that,” Langford administrator Jim Bowden said.

The aquatic centre will be similar to facilities built in Duncan and Kelowna, Bowden said.

“It will be a community-type of family facility,” said Ryan Mckenzie, spokesman for Westhills. “I think it will be something that’s well used by everybody in Langford. It will be a unique aquatic centre in the West Shore and Greater Victoria.”

The response from the public has been “very positive,” Mckenzie said.

The city has agreed to exempt the centre from property and school taxes.

Langford residents will get a 10 per cent discount on monthly passes to the centre. The YM/YWCA will offer subsidized memberships to residents unable to pay the full fee.

Langford Mayor Stew Young said the new facility will help address the needs of the third-largest city in the region.

“This centre will provide a great range of new services and facilities for our rapidly growing community,” Young said. “It’s another great example of Langford council’s commitment to provide the best recreational opportunities for our residents and will augment the existing world-class facilities at City Centre Park.”

The groundbreaking ceremony is expected to start at 11 a.m.

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