GUILDFORD – The pungency of chlorine was strong alongside the smell of a new building. It was the middle of the day and the excitement was palpable.
The Guildford Recreation Centre’s new aquatics centre – an addition to the existing recreational building – opened on March 23 to the public. Currently standing, the Guildford Recreation Centre is now the largest in Surrey.
Jeff Holland, the facility manager of the aquatics addition, says since its first week, the pool has welcomed a lot more people than what he’s used to.
“In terms of the usership, it has gotten really busy,” he said.
“There has been a great deal of interest within Surrey. A lot of people from around the area have wanted to check things out.”
The addition includes an eight-lane olympic-sized competition pool, a steam room, a dry sauna and expanded weight room and fitness room facilities.
“It’s definitely going to be a full service centre for everybody,” Holland continued. “It’ll bring all ages together.”
Events and bookings are already lining up within the first week, including a large swim meet in April and water polo events during the summer.
Cathy James, executive director of Tourism Surrey, is excited to see more community participation with the expansion of the recreational centre.
“We’re looking forward to having different groups in swimming, synchro, and water polo,” she said.
The grand opening of the Guildford Aquatics centre is set for Saturday, May 30.
Also in Surrey, construction of the Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre is underway. The new facility will include a 10-lane Olympic-sized pool. It is set to be finished by the fall.