Update on Aquatic Facilities in HRM

Swim Nova Scotia continues to work collaboratively with Dalhousie University (Department of Athletics), who have invested a significant amount of resources to maintain and upgrade Dalplex Pool on our behalf (including a new electronic timing system, starting blocks and backstroke ledges).  In the New Year, we will be co-purchasing some additional equipment to continue to enhance athlete experience.

On behalf of Swim Nova Scotia, I have been actively involved on HRM’s Stakeholder Working Group.  HRM Staff are in the final phases of preparing the Long-Term Aquatic Strategy for Council.  This recommendation will go to Council early in the New Year (I will supply the link to the Strategy when it is available).

The purpose of the Strategy is to assess the long-term aquatic needs for HRM and provide recommendations to Regional Council regarding the provision of aquatic services.  Specifically, it will include:

  • An overview of the aquatic service provision and mandate
  • A review of condition assessments of existing municipal aquatic facilities
  • A review of existing policies and practices
  • Demographic analysis and benchmarking with comparable cities
  • An understanding of utilization and equity of access within aquatic facilities
  • Support required for competitive aquatics
  • An understanding of the features that are desired in new facilities
  • Community and stakeholder feedback
  • Approaches in providing aquatic facilities including municipal beaches, indoor pools, outdoor pools and splash pads

The Scope of the Strategy includes:

  • HRM owned and operated indoor and outdoor pools
  • HRM owned and community operated indoor and outdoor pools
  • Non-municipally operated indoor and outdoor pools (i.e. not for profit, DND, University, etc.)
  • Competition aquatic facilities
  • Supervised beaches (Municipal and Provincial)
  • Splash pads
  • Examination of the allocation of pool time, access and equity

Although Aquatic fees are out of the scope of the Strategy, it will be part of HRM’s Fee Review Study.

I will continue to report back to the Swim Nova Scotia Board of Director’s and the membership as additional information is received.

Bette El-Hawary, Executive Director