Mayor Lisa Helps and Victoria city council have pushed the pause button on plans to build the replacement for the aging Crystal Pool in Central Park, and will examine putting the new facility on the Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre parking lot.
Although the idea of putting the new pool next to the arena is not new, the city decided about 10 days ago to push ahead with the Central Park plan. However, Helps left the door to the arena proposal slightly ajar. Now she says the owner of RG Properties, which operates the arena and holds the lease on the city-owned land, is excited about the prospect of building the pool next to the arena and sees potential for energy-sharing between the two facilities.
So why didn’t that discussion take place earlier, rather than after nearly two years and $2 million worth of planning and design? Nevertheless, it’s a good move, and should alleviate many of the concerns expressed by North Park residents and others who worried about the loss of green space and increased traffic. Better to tear up some asphalt than tear up grass and trees.