Iqaluit City Council approved the final design plans for a new aquatic centre last night.

A presentation by Stantec, the firm hired to produce the plans, included everything from tiles and colour schemes to the design of the roof to minimize snow buildup.

Stantec's Josh Armstrong said one of the biggest decisions was to go with rock-socketed piles.

Iqaluit Aquatic Centre - Interior

Here's how Stantec envisions the reception area for the new aquatic centre. The pool and waterslide are in the background.

“That means we're not going to depend on the permafrost to hold this building that's got a pool in it up,” Armstrong said. “We're going to depend on the rock below the permafrost.”

The presentation to city councillors also highlighted the building's accessibility. It includes different tactile surfaces for the visually impaired and special walls to allow people with mobility problems to lower themselves into a pool.

The city says about $2 million has already been spent on consultants and the design phase.

Iqaluit Aquatic Centre - interior

This angle also shows the multipurpose area, separated from the pool by a wall of glass.

Construction is expected to cost just over $30 million, with almost $2 million for contingencies.

Councillor Kenny Bell has his doubts.

“The fact of the matter is we can't afford it,” Bell said. “We won't be able to afford it for a very long time. It's way too expensive.”

Now that the design plans are approved, it's expected the project will be out for tender in the new year, and piles could be going into the ground in April.