The renovations for the Bear Creek Outdoor Pool could include a water slide. If the city stays within the $5,050,000 budget, the three loop slide will be a go with a cost around $270,000. City council was looking at three options including a larger slide and a slide with three and a half loops but chose to look further into one with the lowest price tag. Kevin Klippenstein with VD Architecture says the option they chose will cater to almost everyone.
“Grande Prairie is a place for summer respite. This is supposed to give you some relief from the heat and stuff like that. It isn’t a giant water park. If they want to go that way, there is an opportunity but I think that slide will give the most to the town in the end. The younger kids will be able to go on that slide.”
He says kids can sometimes be intimidated by larger slides and the largest option was around 8.5 metres high with the three and a half loops compared to around 6.5 metres that they chose to look at. The larger would cost around $110,000 more.
Klippenstein says the pool is being designed for multiple activities.
“The problem with the older pools is that once you had one activity in it, it hampered other activities. There really could be four or five things organized or semi-organized things all at the same time in this pool.”
There will be four distinctive parts for swimming which include a deep end that goes from 3 to 4 metres, a middle part with spanish style steps, a shallow end with a gradual slope, and a separate tots pool. Klippenstein says the tots pool is designed to have interactive features. There is a proposed small water slide and ground spray included in the design. For safety, there is also plans for a barrier with rocks between the main pool and the tots pool to discourage younger kids from going into the deeper water.
The fencing around the pool will be set up differently as well. After the body of a four year old boy was found in the empty deep end of the pool, Kylee Haining with the city says security is important. They are working on a design for the fence that would not be climbable and are mulling around the idea of using the hospital fence as inspiration. The design also has a secondary 3 to 4 foot fence around the perimeter pool to help keep grass and dirt out of the water. People who are enjoying the grassy part of the area will have to go back through a shower on their way back in.
Inside the Bear Creek Pool building, it was proposed to have twelve showers in each women and men’s bathrooms. The city sent the bathroom design back to the drawing board with hopes of having less showers and save money. Councillor Jackie Clayton was hoping to save on that part of the project which would be put towards the triple loop slide. Roger Field from Field, Field & Field says although it won’t be much cost savings, they will take some of the showers out and expand some of the change cubicles instead.
Field adds that they are being proactive in the change room design when it comes to gender neutral washrooms.
“There will be male-family and female-family. The building code in Alberta says there needs to be a male and female washroom. Otherwise, there would just be two family washrooms.”
He says the rooms are set up with individual cubicles with benches and hooks inside each one that would allow people to change behind closed doors. There would be no benches available in the main change room area and Field says this is on purpose. He says it is to discourage patrons from getting changed in the open space. The lockers would then be set up outside the building on the way into the pool. The male washrooms will also have no urinals in order to be more neutral.
The facility is set for reopening in June 2018.