WINNIPEG — The expiry date for the Sherbrook Pool was long overdue when the west end facility shutdown abruptly due to structural problems in 2012. Since then there have been serious doubts it would ever reopen again.
Two years later and with funding now finally secured, the community is relieved that they’ll eventually be able to swim in their neighborhood again.
“I”m going to be really excited and really glad because we’ll have a lot more space to practice,” said 11-year-old Emily Welty.
Welty is one of dozens of team members on the Sherbrook Sharks forced to train at pools outside the neighbourhood. Because they have to be shuffled to facilities further from home, Sharks membership dropped dramatically and for a while the club’s financial future was in doubt.
“We lost about 40% of swimmers and we have limited lane space here too so we couldn’t take a lot of new swimmers here either and practicing is just harder,” said Karla Dueck Thiessen, president of the Sherbrook Sharks Swim Club.
The renovations will cost about $4 million dollars, much of it from the city and province but it also includes a million from the Kinsmen Club of Winnipeg.
The building needs major repairs. Roofing and support beams will fixed, there’ll be much-needed cosmetic upgrades and the project will also have a half-million dollar contingency fund just in case it goes over budget.
“As you can appreciate we have an 80-year-old building here,” said Winnipeg mayor Sam Katz. “A lot of this is projections. We wanted it to be safe.”
The pool should reopen by late 2015 – early 2016 and will be renamed the Kinsmen Sherbrook Pool.