Lac La Biche County officials plan to make a big splash about their plans to build a new, $15-million aquatic centre with funding they have received from the federal and provincial governments. They just want to get into the deep end of planning first.
Lac La Biche County spokesperson Jihad Moghrabi says there are still many initial steps to go through before definitive timelines for construction will be known. Part of the that process, he assured, will involve community consultation on what amenities the new aquatic centre will have.
"All of our plans will depend on public consultation to see what our residents are looking for," said Moghrabi, following the funding announcment made late last week.
Included in the federal government's funding announcements from their Investing in Canada Program, six-million dollars will be made available for a new swimming pool. The project has an overall price tag of $15 million, and has been a top priority in the municipality's recreation master plan for several years. The remaining $9 million for the project will come from provincial Municipal Sustainability Initiative funding over the next several years.
The new pool will replace the 30 year old Portage Pool that is attached to the Portage College campus in Lac La Biche. The new pool is slated to be built alongside the southeast wall of the 200,000 square foot Bold Center recreation facility.
“The Bold Center was already a state-of-the-art multiplex and community hub,” says Lac La Biche Biche Mayor Omer Moghrabi. “A new aquatics centre will enhance the Bold Center’s impressive services and support our community’s social and physical well-being for many years to come."
The mayor says the partnership of the federal and provincial governments toward a rural municipal project is great news.
"The County is excited and grateful that the federal and provincial governments recognize the importance of investing in rural communities, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic," he said.