While the City of Surrey waits to hear if it will get a Great Wolf Lodge, the Township of Langley is busy building an outdoor water park in Aldergrove that could rival the popular American family adventure facility.
The new Otter Co-op Outdoor Experience water park in Aldergrove will feature three water slides, a huge interactive lazy river, a multi-storey, circus themed aqua play structure, a water park for preschoolers, a tidal pool with six types of waves and a giant movie screen, a huge 50-plus person hot tub, leisure pool, elaborate dry playground, food trucks, competition pool with diving boards and more.
The Times was given a tour of the park while it is being constructed.
Graham Construction is overseeing the massive project at 27032 Fraser Hwy. A average of 80 workers are on site on any given day, working to get the aquatic facilities open in time for the Canada Day long weekend.
“We continue to watch construction progress and over the next several months the ACUCC will really begin to take shape. We will have a lot to celebrate when it opens to the public on the Canada Day long weekend,” said Township Mayor Jack Froese.
And unlike the larger water parks, the cost to enjoy this outdoor water experience will be the same fee structure as any other Township recreation centre pass. That means it could be as low as $5.25 to get into the park.
A lot of thought has gone into the water park and aquatic facilities to ensure people of all ages, especially hard-to-please preteens and teenagers, are kept entertained.
Aldergrove Youth Will Have Something To Do Now
For decades, the Township has heard that there isn’t enough for youth to do in Aldergrove. And that was true until this summer, said Froese.
Not only will youth have affordable access to a huge water park, which includes a competition ready pool, but the recreation centre will have a full fitness centre for working out and a host of other programs.
Water park Features
After climbing a tower, riders will have three slides to choose from, two of which will have one and two person tubes, the other will have sliders plunge in darkness toward the pool below.
Beside and underneath the slides will be a large lazy river, which will gently propel people through the water where they can choose to go under a waterfall, sprayers and water buckets. Inflatables will be stationed at the river.
A giant hot tub is being built that can fit around 50 people. A sloping canopy will keep rain away.
Richmond-based company Whitewater supplied the water slides and is currently setting up the circus-themed aquaplay structure for younger children, which will feature a giant popcorn bucket on the top that will fill with water and cascade down a ramp and onto children’s heads. There are plenty of play features, including sprayers and buckets as well as three smaller water slides.
Behind the waterpark will be building that houses change rooms on the main floor and a party room upstairs with a huge window looking onto the park.
There will be a separate water park for toddlers, featuring water bubblers and smaller sprayers.
The Township has acquired a neighbouring property, so they can include a grassed area with picnic tables. A 10-foot noise attenuation wall will be built around the park.
The wave pool will feature six types of waves and a large screen that will play all sorts of movies, including Jaws, said Township staff.
The dry playground will be constructed using natural play pieces and will be even more elaborate than the popular playground at Willoughby Community Park, said project manager Jason Winslade.
Covered Leisure Pool
A ramp leads swimmers into the leisure pool where aquasize classes and swimming lessons can take place. There will be a rope swing, basketball hoop and play features. The temperature of the leisure pool will be similar to other pools in the Township.
A new Aldergrove swim club is being proposed now that the community will have a covered 25-metre six-lane competition pool. But the Township has heard that other clubs will use the facility, too, including the Langley Flippers and Olympians. The pool will also feature one- and three-metre diving boards. The shallow end is 1.5 m deep.
Visitors will access the pools through the community centre change rooms and walkways.
There is also access to a sauna and steam room from the outside.
Community Centre and Ice Arena
The 500-plus seat arena with an NHL sized ice surface is nearly done. The target date for opening is Saturday, Aug. 18. The second level of the arena will have a running track as well as a full fitness centre with exercise equipment and weights, fitness studio for yoga and a large multipurpose flex room that will allow for preschool programs, and other program space.
Graham Construction salvaged the beams and bricks from the old Aldergrove school that was on the site. They are incorporating those pieces into the new arena.
“When people sit on the benches to lace up their skates, they will be sitting on the beams that were milled from the Aldergrove school site,” said Winslade. The front entrance wall will be made of salvaged bricks.
The new arena will be home to the Kodiaks Junior B team. And the Aldergrove Minor Hockey League and Aldergrove Figure Skating will have offices on site.
“The Aldergrove arena opened in 1973 and is well liked by the community. It was really important for us to incorporate what they liked about that arena and bring it here, but with all the new technology.”
One thing you won’t see here is the mounds of snow piled up behind the arena.
The new facility has an ice melting pit beside the Zamboni room. There is a lot of wasted heat that will be used to melt the ice and in turn heat the pools.
Bringing People To Downtown Aldergrove
Recognizing that the new water park will draw thousands from all over Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley, the Township is currently working on ways to encourage those visitors stay and enjoy all downtown Aldergrove has to offer, said the mayor.
The Township is currently widening 29 Avenue and will put a traffic light in at Fraser and 29th.
The Township is also going to provide incentives to local businesses to allow visitors to park at their sites. The Township is putting in around 100 parking spots on site, but they are hoping many visitors will use off-site parking. An agreement has been made with the high school to use its parking in the summer. The Township will also be putting in a new raised crosswalk in front of the school.