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Province kicks in $1.4M for Sherbrook Pool renovation

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Repairs to the shuttered Sherbrook Pool took on a bigger scope after the province announced it would contribute to the repair and renovation project at the inner-city facility.

Several civic and provincial politicians gathered outside the Sherbrook Street pool today to hear Kevin Chief say the Selinger government will join city hall and the Kinsmen Club of Winnipeg on the pool project.

"When you think about the Sherbrook Pool, there is a uniqueness to it," Chief, provincial minister for children and youth, said at a morning news conference alongside Mayor Sam Katz and Kinsmen president Raj Phangureh.

The price tag for re-opening the bill had previously been set at $2.7 million, with the funds provided by city hall and the Kinsmen Club of Winnipeg.

The province will now provide $1.2 million more and the city will contribute an additional $200,000, increasing its total contribution to $1.9 million.

The Sherbrook Pool was closed in November 2012 over concerns the columns supporting the roof were not stable and could collapse

An engineering report found the 83-year-old pool needed a new roof, supporting columns and upgrades to its electrical and heating and ventilation systems, which would cost at least $2.7 million.

A community group lobbied city hall to save the pool.

The civic administration opposed the project, saying the repairs were too expensive for an under-utilized facility. However, Katz and Coun. Harvey Smith found $1.7 million in the 2014 budget for essential repairs. In January, the Kinsmen announced they would provide $1 million for the project.

In recognition of the Kinsmen’s contribution, the pool will be renamed Kinsmen Sherbrook Pool.

City officials said repairs should be completed by December 2015, with an official re-opening in January 2016.

The province’s contribution will cover the cost of improvements to the pool’s change rooms and water tank and other upgrades throughout the facility.

"The idea of Sherbrook pool has really touched an emotional core with so many people," Chief said when explaining the province’s investment in the facility.

Joining Katz and Chief at the Friday news event were Smith and area NDP MLAs Andrew Swan and Rob Altemeyer.

Katz said the facility is the most beloved and cherished pool in Winnipeg, which opened in 1931 as the largest and finest public pool in western Canada.

"The refurbishment of this cherished pool will be a massive undertaking," Katz said. "There is clearly a need in the community to re-open its doors and get aquatic lovers of all ages back into the water."

Marianne Cerilli, president of the community group, Friends of Sherbrook Pool, said she was pleased the province joined the repair effort, adding she hoped the community would have some input on which cosmetic projects are also completed.

Katz said that the new project price tag includes $500,000 for potential cost increases, adding that could happen with an 80-year-old facility.




Updated on Friday, May 16, 2014 at 3:37 PM CDT: Writethru.

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