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New Westminster community, aquatic centre on hold as reopening plan approved by council

Last Updated Jun 1, 2020 at 9:05 pm PDT

An illustration of what the new Aquatic & Community Centre in New Westminster will look like (Courtesy Twitter/New_Westminster)

NEW WESTMINSTER (NEWS 1130) — It was a busy day for the City of New Westminster as the area continues to pick up the pieces after COVID-19 shuttered much of the activity in the Royal City.

City Council has approved a reopening plan that would allow summer programs to come back next month, but construction on the new Aquatics and Community Centre has been put on hold due to the effect the pandemic has had on municipal operations.

New Westminster senior manager of recreation Steve Kellock says they can still take some positives out of this.

“The nice thing is we have just completed all of the design work. It’s a great opportunity to take a temporary pause, and then revisit the project in the fall.” Kellock said, while adding that they just want to make sure they do things the right way when it comes to the completion of the project.

“COVID-19 has created significant disruptions everywhere and we share the community’s disappointment that we are unable to proceed with the tender and construction phases of the new Aquatics and Community Centre at this time,” said Mayor Jonathan Coté in a statement from the City.

“I do want to acknowledge the considerable work that has been completed on this project, including all the community consultation and the completion of the design documents. We have achieved many key milestones and I am confident that we are well-positioned to move forward with construction in the near future.” Coté continued.

In the meantime, New Westminster City Council approved a recovery plan that would see a number of facilities and programs restored now, with more to come in the summer.

Many of the City’s parks and playgrounds reopened June 1, while various spray parks and Moody Outdoor Pool is set to open up again next month.

Outdoor summer programs will be running again in July with some restrictions in place as well.