Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Province adds $1.2M to Sherbrook Pool pot

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Children and Youth Opportunities Minister Kevin Chief and Mayor Sam Katz chat inside the Sherbrook Pool after Friday's funding announcement on repairing the old inner-city facility.

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Children and Youth Opportunities Minister Kevin Chief and Mayor Sam Katz chat inside the Sherbrook Pool after Friday's funding announcement on repairing the old inner-city facility.

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 Friday 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 opportunities, said at a morning news conference alongside Mayor Sam Katz and Kinsmen president Raj Phangureh.

The price tag for reopening the pool had previously been set at $2.7 million, with the funds provided by city hall and the Kinsmen.

The province will contribute $1.2 million and the city will kick in 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, 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-used facility. However, Katz and Coun. Harvey Smith found $1.7 million for essential repairs in the 2014 budget. In January, the Kinsmen announced they would provide $1 million for the fixes. 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 reopening 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.

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. It opened in 1931 as the largest, finest public pool in Western Canada.

Marianne Cerilli, president of the community group, Friends of Sherbrook Pool, said she is pleased the province joined the repair effort, adding she hopes the community would have some input on which cosmetic touches are done.

aldo.santin@freepress.mb.ca

 

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition May 17, 2014 A18

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