2024 Aquatics Question

Count Yourself In - Aquatics Question

The 2024 Census starts April 1st

The Fort Saskatchewan Municipal Census is a crucial tool for planning programs and services for our growing community. Every person counts when it comes to receiving Provincial funding.

This year, Council is seeking to understand the level of support for building a new aquatics facility at the Dow Centennial Centre to replace Harbour Pool. A question has been added to the Census to allow each household to provide a response.

The new aquatics facility is a significant investment for the community, estimated at $54 million to construct. Information on the project, including cost breakdowns and size and features of the proposed facility, is available here to inform you before you respond to the census.

Important Information You Should Know

  • The City held a vote on expanding aquatic facilities in 2017, the results were “No” (52%) and “Yes” (48%).
  • Harbour Pool was built in 1982, and will require repairs soon to remain operational. The estimated cost to maintain Harbour Pool over the next decade is $5.3M, assuming no unexpected issues arise.
  • A recommended Facility Program to address the City’s current and future indoor recreation service needs was developed in 2023 that included enhancing service levels and amenities for aquatics.
  • Based on the Indoor Recreation Facility Program Review, it was recommended to relocate aquatics to the Dow Centennial Centre. Based on the three potential expansion options, this option provided the lowest capital and operational costs, the least amount of disruption to aquatics service and the most opportunity for enhanced accessibility.

The Aquatics Question

Below is the question you'll find on the Census, including the provided response options. 

"City Council is seeking to gauge public support for building a new aquatics facility at the Dow Centennial Centre to replace the services offered at the Harbour Pool. The new aquatics facility would be approximately 52,000 square feet (more than double the size of Harbour Pool) and would include aquatics amenities such as a separate 8-lane swim tank, leisure tank, tot pool, hot tub, sauna and steam room.

The construction of the new aquatics facility is estimated to cost $54 million with the debenture expected to be paid over the next 30 years. Based on an average home valued at $412,925 it could increase property taxes by $236 per year.

Do you support constructing a new aquatics facility at the Dow Centennial Centre? (“Yes” or “No” or “Prefer not to answer”)"

Complete the 2024 Online Municipal Census

Aquatics Rendering Image        Aquatics Rendering Image

Above are details and concept 3D renderings of a potential aquatics facility, based on the proposed value. Please note that this does not represent the actual design, colours, or materials. Final designs will be developed in the next phase, along with Class 2 estimates.

Current Harbour Pool vs Proposed Dow Centennial Centre Pool Comparison
  CURRENT Harbour PoolPROPOSED Dow Centennial Centre Pool
Size 22,873 sq ft 52,000 sq ft
Capacity 300 bathers 800 bathers
Swim Lessons MAXIMUM 44 spaces
per 30 minutes
MINIMUM 60 spaces
per 30 minutes
  • One zero entry main pool that is prioritized for lessons and programs
  • Multi-purpose Room
  • Hot Tub
  • Universal Change Room
  • Gendered Change Rooms
  • Barrier Free Change Room
  • Separate zero depth entry space (tot pool) with warmer water for families, leisure pool for patrons to play and enjoy different water amenities (ie. spray features), and an 8-lane program pool (with diving area).
  • Hot tub, sauna and steam rooms, gendered, universal, and barrier free change room, multipurpose room and a training/meeting room.
  • A dedicated leisure pool addresses leisure aspects, facilitates activities for children, supports individuals with mobility challenges, and offers simultaneous, therapeutic, and enhanced rental opportunities. 
  • The proposed leisure aquatics program will have an increase in available hours compared to Harbour Pool, which has one main pool that is prioritized.
Annual Cost to Operate $1.7 million $3.7 million

Next Steps

  • Census question results will be shared with Council this summer to inform a decision on whether to approve $5.0 million for design of the aquatics facility the Dow Centennial Centre.
  • If approved, it will take 2 years to reach the final design and Class 2 (+20%/-15%) estimate that would inform the final Council decision on whether to move forward with construction. During the construction period of the new aquatics facility, the City should conduct a review of whether to repurpose the Harbour Pool building for another use, or to demolish it and use the site for another purpose.
  • If not approved, the City would continue to maintain and operate the Harbour Pool.

Your Feedback is Appreciated

If you have comments or questions about the information on this page, you can reach us through Fort Report. Please note that any submissions on Fort Report will not be officially counted as for or against the proposed aquatic facility. Comments will be collected as supplementary information for Council.

Complete the 2024 Online Municipal Census