The City of Iqaluit held a ground-breaking ceremony for its new pool Wednesday afternoon, followed by the drilling of the first pile for its foundation.

It represented the first physical step for the Iqaluit Aquatic Centre project.

"After at least three years of planning and preparation by previous city councils and hard-working administration and staff here we are at reality moving from the planning stage and moving into the construction phase for this much-needed project," said Mayor John Graham.

Iqaluit pool ground-breaking

Peter Tumilty, president of the Rotary Club of Iqaluit announces a $100,000 donation to the REACH fund to build the new aquatic centre while Amy Elgersma, director of recreation for the City of Iqaluit, looks on. (Jane Sponagle/CBC)

But not everyone is on board. Some have been critical about the cost of the project.

The current price tag for the pool is $30 million. In 2012, ratepayers voted in favour of borrowing up to $40 million to pay for a new pool. The REACH fundraising committee is hoping to help with that cost. Its goal is to raise $3 million.

REACH's total is now over $400,000, according to Amy Elgersma, Iqaluit's recreation director and a member of the REACH committee.

Elgersma says it could take six weeks to get the more than 200 piles into the ground. Construction of the aquatic centre is expected to be complete by 2016.