Calgary

Repsol Sport Centre gears up for major expansion

With other recreational swimming options in the downtown dwindling, the Repsol Sport Centre in Calgary looks to add new facilities.

Calgary City Council approves $45M to add new aquatic facilities for downtown users

The Repsol Sport Centre is looking to add new facilities after city council voted unanimously to dedicate $45 million to an expansion of the facility. (Mike Symington/CBC)

With other recreational swimming options in the downtown dwindling, the Repsol Sport Centre in Calgary is looking to add new facilities.

Earlier this month, city council voted unanimously to dedicate $45 million to add more modern recreational water amenities at Repsol.

The operators of the recreation facility at Lindsay Park have been working on plans for years to expand.

Now that's being kicked into overdrive by council's decision.

"Objectively, I think this is the most amazing project for the centre but for the city of Calgary as well," said Jeff Booke, the CEO of the Repsol Centre.

City council wants Repsol Sport Centre to offer more family-oriented aquatics options for inner-city residents. (Mike Symington/CBC)

It was already looking at adding to its flatwater inventory and adding a new dive tank as well as other facilities like new locker rooms, offices and a new entryway.

But council wants Repsol to also offer more family-oriented aquatics options for inner-city residents like wave pools, lazy rivers and waterslides.

Consulting on options

Booke said it means there will be a major expansion on the building's western side.

It's too early to say which features will be added, as he said they'll want to consult with the community first.

One of their goals with the expansion is to also open up the centre to the surrounding park space.

"Perhaps there's outdoor amenities that are community-based, like a splash park for example, and then you could come in and participate on and play on waterslides and those types of amenities," said Booke.

One of the goals of the Repsol Sport Centre is to open up the centre to the surrounding park space. (Mike Symington/CBC)

He's optimistic that the city's funding commitment will help Repsol to leverage that to get more money from the federal and provincial governments for its other expansion plans, which are currently unfunded.

But he's also aware that the city has a timeframe for the aquatics expansion.

He expects the addition will have to be ready in two or three years.

Other pools closed

The Eau Claire YMCA was recently closed, as was the city swimming pool at the Beltline fitness centre.

It's also possible the city's Inglewood pool may be closing in the next couple of years.

City council has agreed to put in $400,000 to keep the aging facility operating for now.

The city says the pool will eventually close when the new amenities are ready at the Repsol facility.

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