Thompson Aquatic Centre Update, April 11, 2022

Despite all of the challenges, from pandemic delays to volatile commodities, the Thompson Aquatic Centre project is still making steady progress. Here’s the latest in progress towards a new pool in Thompson, from designing the facility to paying for it. Designs are expected to be finalized by the end of the summer, there’s new movement in ICIP’s review process, and an exciting announcement is expected at our Regular Meeting of Council tonight.

Planning and Design

Back in January we released a presentation that showed off the exterior renderings of the pool, the floor plans for the Thompson Aquatic Centre, the chosen location and the grounds as they’re currently planned for landscaping.

We’re now two-thirds through the design of the final project: our development staff have received scale blueprints for the full facility, and are reviewing them for accuracy and consistency.

This is a pretty arduous process, going through the document and drafts line-by-line to ensure all of the components are consistently reflected in the document, so that there’s no design-related surprises once construction starts.

The design team is on-track to have the design plans finalized and ready for tendering by the end of the summer.


ICIP: still in the running

The big question on everyone’s mind has been the Investing in Canada’s Infrastructure Grant, which would fund the bulk of the aquatic centre’s construction.

In September 2019 the City of Thompson applied for the ICIP grant with high hopes that construction might be funded and started by that summer 2020. However, funding announcements were severely delayed when the pandemic was officially declared in March 2020. Provincial and federal offices shifted their priorities to adjusting to the extended emergency unfolding across the country.

In the meantime, the City continued to make the preparations needed for facility construction: our team applied for additional grants (within the same parameters as the ICIP grant), and received proposals from and hired an engineering firm to design the facility.

In September 2021, the Province of Manitoba released a press release highlighting the first round of recipients of the Recreation stream. The City of Thompson’s Aquatic Centre was not included on the list.

However, the City did not receive notification that it had been rejected, and the province clarified that no project was rejected until such a letter had been sent.

Still, with no concrete indication as to the status of the project, council, administration, and the Swim North pool committee has been considering the possibility of funding the new Aquatic Centre without the ICIP grant.

In December 2021, provincial officials reached out to us to clarify details of our proposal.

The Thompson Aquatic Centre project is now officially listed on the federal government’s webpage as “Under Review”. This wasn’t the case during the first round of announcements.

According to the federal website, the federal government will inform its provincial partners of its decision within 60 days of the application being confirmed as completed.

You can view that status at the webpage here, by searching “Thompson”:

All ICIP funding is pending project approval. No final decisions have been made.

Swim North: Winter Wonderland

The pandemic severely impacted the fundraising activities that the Swim North committee was able to undertake. However, they were able to revive

During its first year, Winter Wonderland brought in roughly $60, 000 in contributions: $35, 000 was from tickets and gate sales, and $25, 000 from Vale Manitoba Operations in exchange for employees accessing the grounds.

This year, Swim North brought in $17, 000 in gate and ticket sales from Winter Wonderland. It’s less than last year’s sales, to be sure. But then again restrictions were looser this winter, and there was a lot more to do this year. 

Don’t worry: council is voting on a much bigger contribution from Vale tonight.

Information available at the 102.9 CHTM Trade Show

The 102.9 CHTM Trade Show is returning for the first time in two years, and a always, the City of Thompson will be there. We’ll have the latest plans and renderings from Stantec for the new facility, information about the process so far and the outlook moving forward, as well as updates about the ICIP projects that have been awarded: our road and water renewals.

Council and administration will also be there in-person to answer your questions!

All ICIP funding remains pending approval.

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