Jump In and Fill the Pool: Upper Fraser Valley Rallies for Indoor Pool Project

Enbridge donates $50,000 to construction of the Lets’emot Regional Aquatic Centre in Agassiz
Mar 4, 2024 2:15 PM ET

With stunning views of snow-capped mountains, the Lets’emot Regional Aquatic Centre is poised to steal the spotlight in Agassiz, BC by the end of 2025.

That’s the target date for the opening of this 30,000-square-foot indoor pool facility to the public.

For now, a fundraising billboard showing the conceptual image of the regional aquatic center stands on the site where it will be constructed, adjacent to the existing Community Recreation and Cultural Centre, and on Stó:lō traditional territory—a fitting location, given that Stó:lō means “people of the river.”

This ambitious indoor pool project still needs about $3.5 million to meet its target construction funding of $21 million. Meanwhile, the details about the construction of the project will be released for bidding very soon.

The Lets’emot Regional Aquatic Centre is designed to feature an eight-lane lap pool, a leisure pool, a whirlpool, an activity space and a community room. Once operational, this indoor facility will provide more learning spaces for vital water safety education, for children and adults alike.

It will also create additional employment and volunteer opportunities, while filling a void in the community’s access to a nearby indoor pool facility. Currently, the nearest indoor pool to Agassiz is located in Chilliwack, 26 km away—a distance Mayor Sylvia Pranger of the District of Kent walked for more than five hours to raise funds for the pool back in April 2023.

The Ferny Coombe Pool, Agassiz’s beloved and lone pool, is a seasonal outdoor pool built in 1978. Already past its initial life expectancy, it cannot be repaired for any significant structural or mechanical failure, and has recently lost its diving board.

The name “Lets’emot”—a Halqmeylem word meaning “One Heart, One Mind”—was chosen as the official name for this aquatic center. It encapsulates the collaborative efforts of the communities of Cheam First Nation, District of Kent, Seabird Island Band, Sq'éwlets First Nation, Stó:lō Tribal Council, the Sts'ailes Nation, the District of Kent and the Village of Harrison Hot Springs, that support having a much-needed year-round aquatic facility for their community and neighbours.

“The District of Kent will be incorporating the concept of ‘Lets’emot’ in its plans for the new indoor pool in the spirit of embracing all neighbouring communities,” says Mayor Pranger. “The Lets’emot Regional Aquatic Centre will be a future hub for recreation and will promote accessibility, inclusion, and social connection, to ensure that everyone feels welcome to use the facility.”

As part of its Fueling Futures program, Enbridge—part of the Agassiz community for almost 70 years—has contributed $50,000 to the Lets’emot Regional Aquatic Centre.

To further bolster the fundraising efforts, the District of Kent has set up a dedicated page, Jump In and Help Us Fill the Pool!, providing details on various ways to donate.