The upcoming Regional Aquatic Centre has been given a new name.
Following a meeting of the Lets’emot Community to Community (C2C) Forum, the future pool facility will officially be named “Lets’emot Regional Aquatic Centre (LRAC).”
“Lets’emot” is a Halq’eméylem word meaning “one heart, one mind.” Halq’eméylem is an Indigenous language spoken in several First Nations communities surrounding Agassiz-Harrison and beyond, including Sts’ailes, Seabird Island and Sq’éwlets.
“The district will be incorporating this concept with plans for the new indoor pool in the spirit of embracing all neighbouring communities,” Mayor Sylvia Pranger stated. Incorporating the principles of “Lets’emot” is meant to foster inclusion and social connections to make the future LRAC a welcoming environment for people of all walks of life.
The estimated cost of construction is approximately $20 million; the district has received grant funding from the provincial and federal governments to pay for roughly half the cost already. A 2019 estimate indicated the LRAC may have an operating budget hovering around $600,000. Adjusting for inflation, this estimate would be closer to $673,000 as of 2022.
In addition to sourcing funding through reserves, donations and other resources, district staff are seeking letters of support from the surrounding communities. Both the Village of Harrison Hot Springs and Fraser-Cascade District 78 have expressed their support, pledging to send letters to Minister of Indigenous Services Patty Hajdu and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs Dominic LeBlanc. The letters would go to Ottawa ahead of a potential delegation from Lets’emot C2C to meet with federal officials about the facility.
The 27,000-square foot future facility will consist of an eight-lane lap pool, leisure pool, hot tub, lazy river and common area.
The LRAC will be built adjacent to the Community Recreational and Cultural Centre (CRCC) and would take the place of the nearby Ferny Coombe Outdoor Pool. The Ferny Coombe Pool – home of the Agassiz-Harrison Aquanauts Swim Club – has been in service to the community since 1978. However, it’s now past its life expectancy and any further breakdown would put the pool beyond repair.
To donate to the LRAC’s construction, visit kentbc.ca.
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