A $16.5 M grant from the federal government is welcome news to municipal politicians in Loyalist township.
The money will be used to refurbish the aging pool at the W.J. Henderson recreation centre in Amherstview.
“It’s going to be a new eight-lane, 25-metre pool with a new public area, the seating area and amenities to go with it as well,” Loyalist Township mayor Jim Hegadorn told Global Kingston.
The township was forced to close the pool last spring due to a lengthy list of issues that ultimately led to the pool being deemed structurally unsafe.
“Once it was removed from service, it was greatly missed and it’s been on the forefront of everyone’s mind and I’ve received a lot of comments about it,” said Hegadorn.
Along with the pool retrofit the grant will cover the costs of upgrading the arena and library which are both located in the community centre.
“We’re going to develop a safe, welcoming space dedicated to providing education and also spreading awareness of the Indigenous history and our journey of reconciliation,” said Hegadorn.
Hegadorn says the improvements will also make the building more accessible and green.
Energy saving components included in the renovation are expected to cut the facility’s greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 40 per cent.
Hegadorn says it’s too soon to put a timeline on the project, but with council budget discussions taking place in the coming weeks and the federal grant in hand renovations it could be done as soon as 2025.