Loyalist Township politicians had a choice to make when it comes to the state of the aging pool at the W.J. Henderson Recreation Centre in Amherstview, west of Kingston.
Council must decide whether to approve a retrofit or build a new pool, but first they want staff to explore funding options.
“It is a very large budget item,” said Ric Bresee, mayor of Loyalist Township.
“We know that we need to do something with this pool facility if we’re going to continue to have a pool facility, which we believe is an important service for our community.”
Bresee says the five-lane pool is about 45 years old. Over the last 10 years, Bresee added, those running the facility have had to deal with cracks and leakages.
When Global News was on site, a large crack was recently fixed and the fill was still in the process of drying. A number of original pipes used in the filtration system were also showing their age.
The mayor says there are two funding applications, and their first choice is the “new build” option.
“A new build is looking at about 60 percent of the cost of the project. A retrofit is about 80 per cent, but of smaller dollars and it won’t last as long,” Bresee explained.
Bresee says it would also mean the pool would be out of commission for around two years, which isn’t something they want. The Ernestown Barracudas Swim Club is the pool’s major tenant and those involved are more then pleased council chose the new-build option of funding.
Julie Ingo, the club’s president, says the current facility has seen better days.
“It’s really too small to offer a lot of programs that you might hope to offer a community in 2021. From the perspective of competitive swimming, an eight-lane 25-metre is our bare minimum for hosting regional competitions at the championship level,” Ingo said.
“We’re super excited that this council seems to be fully behind an eight-lane facility.”
Bresee says the “new pool build” has a price tag of around $25 million, adding if the federal funding doesn’t come through, it’s back to the drawing board.