Over the years, people have been fighting to save Scona Pool in the Queen Alexandra neighbourhood.
The City of Edmonton permanently closed the 65-year-old facility due to ongoing costly repairs and systems failures earlier in the month.
But now a newly formed non-profit called The Scona Pool Community Foundation is diving in head first to try and get the pool reopened.
“At this point, what we’ve done is we’re collaborating with the city to investigate the viability and whether it’s possible for them to transfer ownership of the facility to our organization,” Scona Pool Community Foundation director of business development and programing Andrew Burke said.
Burke added the foundation has already submitted its business plan to the city.
The non-profit wants to buy the aging facility, fix it up and keep it operational — but only until the Rollie Miles Recreational Facility opens, a project that currently has no completion timeline.
“We’re in talks with different union groups, with different businesses about getting at-cost or below-cost repairs done and building relationships. We’ve been out canvassing the community we’ve gathered about $10,000 in pledges from individuals,” Burke said.
Community members passionate about the pool say ever since it shut down, many swimmers have been left with nowhere to go.
“It’s really difficult right now, the demand for swim lessons far exceeds the supply,” the parent of a former swimmer at Scona Pool Chandra Johner said. “So we’re hoping that if we can get the pool functional then we will be solving a problem for a lot of families in these communities.”
In a statement to global news, Councillor Micheal Janz wrote said while he “remains disappointed in the Scona Pool Closure conversation, my primary recreation focus in this very challenging fall budget session will be advancing the Rollie Miles Recreation Centre.”
“I am aware of the proposal from this non-profit organization and have flagged their interest to the City Manager and administration,” he continued.
“I’m optimistic the response has been very quick, it’s been positive. So I’m feeling good about it,” Johner said.
The goal of the non-profit is to raise $1 million and get the pool reopened by December.
For more information, people can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.