To the untrained eye, the CARI Complex and the UPEI Sports Centre would seem to be the same facility. After all, they are housed in the same building on the campus of the University and both involve athletic endeavours.
And thus you might think that after an exhausting run on the treadmill, or a punishing game of basketball, you might cool off with a bracing swim in the pool, and that you’d do this simply by walking through the door parked “Pool” in the locker room.
But there is no such door.
The two facilities are completely separate.
There are two completely separate sets of locker rooms. Two membership schemes. Two sets of hours. Two front desks. Two sets of informational brochures. Two websites. There are even two parking lots.
So if you, naive member of the public, want to swim after a run you must get dressed, walk out of the Sports Centre and into the CARI door, pay another fee, go into another locker room, and so on.
Does this not seem crazy to anyone but me?
I assume things are as they are purely for reasons of administration and control: CARI was tacked onto the side of the Sports Centre with no thought of integrating its operations into the Sports Centre because those making the design decisions decided to have recreational infrastructure recapitulate bureaucratic infrastructure (the UPEI Sports Centre is run by UPEI; CARI is controlled by a non-profit Board of Directors).
Oh how much more useful a facility this would be if some systems thinkers had intervened at the beginning of the CARI planning process and suggested that a single door through which we could all walk, pay, and recreate would the smartest way to proceed. Now it’s too late: the design flaw is frozen forever in concrete.