VANCOUVER, British Columbia, December 24. LESS than a year away from the start of competition, Swimming Canada is searching for a new host venue for the Pan-Pacific Games. The search for a different facility surfaced when the University of British Columbia announced that it would be unable to build the pool it hoped would host the event. Problems arose for the university when costs escalated from $4.5 million to $13.5 for the project.
Simon Fraser University’s athletic department indicated that it will try to locate money to build a temporary, outdoor pool for the Pan-Pac Games, scheduled for August. Approximately 1,000 swimmers from the Pacific Rim are expected for the competition. Simon Fraser University eventually hopes to construct several permanent pools on its campus.
In offering support to Swimming Canada, Simon Fraser suggested that the temporary pools could be constructed on campus fields or a parking lot that would also be spacious enough to feature ample seating. The temporary pools can be constructed in as little as six weeks and will cost between $6 and $8 million dollars.
If Simon Fraser University is unable to construct the temporary facility, Swimming Canada has booked two other venues for Aug. 17-20, Saanich’s Commonwealth Place and the site of last summer’s World Championships, held in Montreal at Parc Jean-Drapeau.
"We're at ground zero with three possibilities," said Swim British Columbia Executive Director Mark Hahto. "All three are viable and possible and probable. Undoubtedly a decision has to be made very, very shortly.”