(see details and drawing on the 2022 Detailed Design Plans page)
In response to the technical issues with the current pool basin, public comments and a review of trends in recreational facilities, the revised plan, adopted by the SRD board in April 2018, contains the following improvements:
- 8 lane, 25m main pool tank
- Large, accessible therapy pool
- Hot pool
- Leisure pool with play features and beach access style entry
- Lazy river & waterslide
- Renovated & expanded change rooms
- New sauna and steam rooms
- New aquatic supervision and admin spaces
The existing Strathcona Gardens Recreation Complex aquatic offerings includes a 37.5m pool, a leisure pool, water slide, hot tub, steam room and sauna as well as associated change rooms.
The original lap pool was constructed in 1978. The leisure pool, hot tub and waterslide were added as part of a renovation in 1995. Upper pool seating was also added at this time which was later made into the current weight room. Various smaller renovations have taken place since 1995, including a 2010 renovation to the pool hall change room and pool deck. As part of this renovation, the slab on grade for the pool deck and the change room areas were replaced, and the concrete masonry unit walls in the change rooms were removed. The change rooms were also reconfigured at this time.
Swimming is a popular activity for people of all ages. Trends in recreation show that swimming lessons are the primary market for indoor pools however participation in such activities tends to decline after the age of 10. An aging population brings increased demand for therapeutic pools and programs aimed at rehabilitation and therapeutic requirements, a trend that has been observed at Strathcona Gardens.
The new Aquatic Center design aims to meet the needs of the community with an emphasis on accessibility. Additional lane space will allow expansion for swim club programs, swim lessons for youth, and increased room for inflatable obstacle courses currently popular with youth. Designated viewing areas provide a blend of safety and independence for youth participants.
The wellness pool is a feature unique to RECREATE facility design. The chest-to-shoulder deep warm water pool will have a ramp entry on one side and a raised edge on the other to allow for both independent and supported entry for persons with disabilities and seniors. Benches with support bars will allow for seated activities that improve mobility and strength. Existing programs for those with arthritis or hip and knee injury or surgery will be expanded. The quality of the programs will increase with the combination of correct depth and water temperature. While many new facilities feature these amenities, they are often integrated into children’s leisure pools. Separating these into two pools allows for dignity and belonging for seniors and children in the leisure pool.
Persons with disabilities will find a welcoming centre geared for their full participation. Zero-depth entry has been incorporated into the leisure pool, hot tub and wellness pool. The main pool can be accessed by stairs, or a lift system operated independently or by support staff. Sound-dampening lower ceiling over the wellness pool and hot tub will alleviate sensory stimulus.
Neutral non-triggering colour schemes with high contrasts were selected to support those with visual impairment, those on the Autism Spectrum, and other heightened sensory awareness.