BACKGROUNDER – East Hants Aquatic Centre

The Municipality makes every effort to ensure residents understand our decision-making process when developing and implementing major projects. See below for a detailed backgrounder in relation to the new Aquatic Centre.


Why is a new pool being built?

  • The existing pool in Milford is reaching the end of its useful life. Major electrical and mechanical components are failing and the tank itself has significant challenges that would not be good use of taxpayer money to try to repair.
  • The pool is situated on a fairly large track of land but the land has geotechnical challenges that prevented the site from being considered for redevelopment.
  • Any option for development on the current site would have required removal of the existing facility and resulted in the loss of service for two to three years in one of the most used facilities in East Hants.
  • The new aquatic centre is designed so that toddlers, children, seniors and people of all ages and abilities can enjoy it. It will host a variety of aquatic and non-aquatic programs and be a hub for the community, all contributing to the social, physical and community well-being of residents of East Hants.


Why is the new aquatic centre being built in Elmsdale?

  • Elmsdale is the community closest to the largest population in East Hants as well as the most central spot for East Hants residents who live in the rural areas.
  • All residents of East Hants pay for the operation of the facility and Council was determined to make it as accessible as possible to the greatest number of residents.
  • The business plan for the operations involves maximizing revenue potential from lessons and other programming. This is best achieved by locating the facility nearest the greatest population density.
  • Much effort goes into training all staff. The aquatic centre will employ approximately 30-40 staff, primarily between the ages of 15 to 20 years.


Why locate the pool in the Elmsdale Business Park?

  • Council by majority decision wanted the new aquatic centre sited somewhere on Highway 214 as a convenient location for the majority of Municipal taxpayers.
  • The site at the Superstore (Choice Properties) was explored but was deemed to not be the best financial decision for the taxpayer. The details of the negotiations with Choice Properties is confidential.
  • In terms of operations, it was also noted that efficiencies could be realized by having a site adjoining an existing site that is already maintained by the Municipality.


What is the budget?

  • This project represents one of the largest infrastructure builds in the history of East Hants, with a total budget of $19 million.
  • The Government of Canada is contributing $5.8 million of funding, with the Municipality of East Hants providing $13.2 million.


Who designed the pool and who will build it?

  • The aquatic centre was designed by an integrated design team led by MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects (MJMA) in association with TEAL Architects+Planners.
  • Bird Construction was the successful bidder and will lead the construction of a facility that is a leader in accessibility, quality and energy efficiency.

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