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Construction begins on new Minoru complex

Monday’s ground-breaking ceremony launched construction of the $79.6 million multi-purpose complex on the site of what was Richmond’s first artificial turf field. Richmond Mayor Malcolm was joined by councillors, Richmond Aquatics Services Board chair Ian MacLeod, Minoru Seniors Society president Kathleen Holmes, and Richmond Sports Council chair Jim Lamond.  - Martin van den Hemel
Monday’s ground-breaking ceremony launched construction of the $79.6 million multi-purpose complex on the site of what was Richmond’s first artificial turf field. Richmond Mayor Malcolm was joined by councillors, Richmond Aquatics Services Board chair Ian MacLeod, Minoru Seniors Society president Kathleen Holmes, and Richmond Sports Council chair Jim Lamond.
— image credit: Martin van den Hemel

Construction of a $79.6 million combined aquatics and seniors facility began Monday with a ceremonial ground-breaking ceremony.

Ian MacLeod, chair of the Richmond Aquatics Services Board, thanked city staff and Richmond council for changing their plans for the site, opting to avoid closing the pool and instead relocate the placement of the facility.

“I think it would have been a disaster,” MacLeod said about the initially-planned closure.

Some 1,250 people use Minoru Pool’s facility every day, and forcing all those people to turn elsewhere for a couple of years during the construction period would have been unwise, he said.

“I thank council for having listened,” he said.

The new facility is scheduled to open in 2017.

To finance the project, one of several known as the Minoru Civic Precinct projects, the city is using its own reserves and borrowing about $50 million to take advantage of low interest rates.

The Minoru Civic Precinct projects also includes a new City Centre Community Centre, which is currently under construction at Minoru Boulevard and Firbridge Way and is slated to open in 2015, as well as the new No. 1 Fire Hall, which will be built immediately west of the multi-purpose complex.

“Construction of a new aquatic and older adults centre are top priorities for our council,” Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie said. “We need these new facilities to meet the existing and future needs of our growing and evolving community. This new multi-purpose complex will become a focal point for our community as it delivers a mix of outstanding services for a diverse group of users.”

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