Council’s finance and administration committee recommended Wednesday that an additional $880,000 be budgeted for the pool, bringing the cost of construction up to a projected $5.3 million. Municipal politicians are expected to vote on the increase when they meet at the end of February.
Coun. Sharron Bryce, who chairs the finance and administration committee, said the facility, in Maple Leaf Park on 14th Ave. east of Winnipeg Street is a hub for the community.
“It brings people together. It gets them outside to do exercise. People are able to enjoy each other’s company out there,” Bryce told reporters. “I think it’s important to invest in that.”
Heritage Community Association Executive Director Shayna Stock was at Wednesday’s meeting to advocate for the funding bump.
Maple Leaf Pool is the only city recreation facility in the neighbourhood, she said.
“It’s a safe place in the neighbourhood where there’s a lot of unsafe things happening at times,” Stock said of the role the pool plays in her community.
“I’m really excited that the committee has approved this extra funding. I hope it gets sent to council and approved there as well.”
The Maple Leaf Pool design, released in October, is an L-shape with zero-depth entry and a deep end. The facility includes change rooms with an extended roof for shade as well as a staff area. There are also various sustainability elements to the design.
Without the extra money, the design may have to be scaled back, the report to the finance and administration committee said.
“The pool is already a small pool. We don’t need it to be huge, but I don’t think it can be any smaller in order to meet the demand of the community right now,” Stock said.
The pool will be built either way, confirmed Bryce, who said maintaining the sustainability elements is important.
“We want a pool that’s going to last for a really long time,” Bryce said.