Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Sherbrook Pool patrons anxious over facility's fate

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Aiden and Jubilee Dueck Thiessen made valentines for their beloved Thursday night with dozens of adults at a community meeting to "show some love" for the Sherbrook Pool, which was closed by the city Nov. 29.

The brother, 9, and sister, 12, miss their neighbourhood pool, where they swam with their Sherbrook Sharks club.

"It's a fun way to stay active -- you meet so many new people," said Jubilee at a meeting at the Magnus Eliason Recreation Centre.

The city inspected the pool, then closed it, and the Friends of Sherbrook Pool, who helped organize the meeting, are waiting to learn its fate. A city engineering report on what needs to be done to reopen it is expected any day.

The Sharks are growing impatient.

Instead of walking to the Sherbrook Pool, they have to be driven to one in another neighbourhood, said Jubilee. Some of their friends' families don't have a vehicle and can't go, said Aiden.

"We'd go lots just for fun," Jubilee said, adding that the Sherbrook Pool is missed by kids in the area. "I'd be sad if it closed."

So would the seniors in aquasize, Chemo Savvy dragon boat racers, observant Muslim women who used the pool Sunday nights and generations of people who grew up in the West End, said Barry Dunford. He lives across the street and the pool provided a healthy activity for his granddaughter and thousands of kids in the low-income neighbourhood. Dunford said people there don't have much power or influence.

"If this had happened in Charleswood or Tuxedo, it would be a different story," said the self-employed upholsterer.

Dunford suspects the city has already decided to scrap the pool and do something profitable with the property. "I'd like to see another consultant's report," said Dunford, who wants a second opinion on the health of the facility.

Marianne Cerilli, Friends of Sherbrook Pool board chairwoman, said the city has agreed to hold regular meetings with the group to keep them informed.

About 60 people attended the meeting Thursday night to get an update on the plans for the pool. They were asked what the neighbourhood pool meant to them.

carol.sanders@freepress.mb.ca

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition February 15, 2013 A10

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