Sandra King has seen her daughter Brooke grow up at the Moncton East Youth Centre pool. But since the pool closed back in 2013, Brooke has been forced to go to Centennial Park to cool off in the summer – a journey that takes her almost two hours.
“She takes a bus from our house to Champlain Mall, to the old Highfield Square, and another to Centennial Park, then walks… by the time she got there, she didn’t want to swim anymore, she was tired, she was beat.” King said.
While the city has just announced that a new $3.5 million pool will be built in Centennial Park, the only remaining community pool in the city remains closed, something Moncton Centre MLA Chris Collins says he doesn’t understand.
“By creating a new pool up in Centennial Park and deleting this one from the budget or creating something lesser, what they’re doing is they’re moving a pool from the poorest area of the city to the richest area of the city and I just don’t see the logic in that,” Collins said.
The City of Moncton has already budgeted $1 million to build something at that location. The city says that a pool with all the amenities, including changing rooms and washrooms, would cost $1.9 million. Collins said it can be done for much less.
WATCH: A well-loved pool that sits in a low-income Moncton neighborhood is in jeopardy of decommissioning. But the neighborhood it serves is fighting to get it repaired or replaced, and now they have a couple city councilors on board too. Global’s Laura Brown with more on that.
“Three out of the four estimates have come in at about $1.3 million, $1.4 million,” Collins explained. “The $1.9 million estimates include a new tennis court and a new playing field. There is a playing field here, it’s fine. The tennis court is fine. The kids want a new pool.”
The city says no public decision has been made regarding the east end pool, and the next step will be to have this brought before council in a public session.