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Friends want more money for Sherbrook Pool

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The Friends of the Sherbrook Pool is keeping its excitement tepid after the city directed a small slice of funding to the crumbling pool last week.

On Jan. 23, the city’s executive policy committee earmarked $200,000 as part of a number of amendments it made to the city’s operating and capital budgets.

"It’s a signal that there’s awareness that this is an important issue," said group president Marianne Cerilli.

"But on the other hand, until we get this report from the engineers and we know the extent of the deterioration and the cost to fix it, it’s hard to say how excited we should be about this."

The city abruptly closed the pool in late November after an inspection revealed the pillars supporting the 82-year-old building’s roof were badly eroded.

Cerilli, who recently replaced former group president John Hutton, said the group won’t get an engineer’s report on the condition of the building until mid-February.

The group is looking into the city’s commitments for scheduled maintenance on the building, Cerilli said.

"We have a lot of questions about the maintenance that was done and wasn’t done," said Cerilli, who lives in Wolseley and has the used the pool since her daughter was young.

"It’s a big concern that the city allows its facilities to go unmaintained to the point where they need to be closed."

According to the city, pools are visually inspected on a day-to-day basis by on-site maintenance staff, with more detailed assessments conducted every five years by a third party firm.

Cerilli hopes more money will be directed to fixing the pool, which has recently gained public support from acclaimed filmmaker Guy Maddin and former Olympians Rhiannon Leier Blacher and Michelle Lischinsky.

Daniel McIntyre Coun. Harvey Smith said city council can direct more money to the pool once the engineer’s report is released.

He’s inviting area residents and pool users to contact his office to build up community support to help ensure the pool receives the necessary funding required for its repair.

"We have to build up a whole army willing to move once that report comes out," he said.

Meanwhile, the Friends are still waiting to meet with the city to find alternatives to a number of its programs disrupted by the closure, Cerilli said. While some programming has been moved to Cindy Klassen Recreation Complex, the group is still trying to accommodate about 100 inner-city children by shifting swimming lessons the Weston or Brooklands area, she said.

 

matt.preprost@canstarnews.com

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