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Canstar Community News
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This article was published 28/5/2018 (878 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A group of local residents wants to fight to keep Norwood Pool open.
Coun. Matt Allard (St. Boniface) held a meeting on May 22 at Norwood Community Centre (87 Walmer St.) in Norwood Flats to discuss the future of the outdoor pool, which is located next to the centre.
Last year, Allard wrote in The Lance that the pool, which is almost 60 years old, is in need of a major renovation, but now he says the facility will cost millions to fix, and is slated to be closed.
He said the pool is at the end of its lifespan, and staff will do everything they can to keep it open again this summer, but that it can’t be fixed, in part — and in short — because the ground water level has grown significantly over the years, to the point that the groundwater aquifer is at a higher level than the pool floor. He added that the pool requires a provincial licence to operate, and that it must meet provincial regulations.
"Since writing my article, the City’s administration has determined the pool has reached the end of its life, and there are significant problems in terms of its structure," Allard said at the meeting. There is currently no funding for a pool renovation project, so with this in mind, this is the best time to have the discussion about what recreation amenities will take place in the community," Allard said, adding he wished the pool could stay open, but that it’s not a realistic option.
Allard said that at the last Riel community committee meeting, he asked the administration to come back with a costing plan to replace the pool, so he can fight for the new investments in the 2019 budget. He said there are several potential ideas on the table, including a new playground, converting the wading pool to a splash pad, and converting the pool to a beach volleyball court or other type of facility.
At the meeting, longtime resident Monique LaCoste — who has lived in the community her whole life, apart from a year in her twenties — was nominated by several attendees to head up a group to liaise with Allard about the situation.
"This is a good opportunity to remind ourselves this is an important issue, and there is lots of support for the pool in the community. This is a great opportunity to talk about this," said LaCoste at the meeting, in response to a comment by Allard.
"We will help you make this happen. Let us know what we can do to help you. We’ll do it together, Matt."
Talking to The Lance after the meeting about the potential impacts of the pool closure, LaCoste said the formation of the group to work with Allard’s office could be a possible forerunner to forming a residents’ association at some point in the future.
"We’d like to form a committee to work with the City to try and save the pool, and talk about a vision for the neighbourhood," LaCoste said.
"There are healthy living issues here, and we want to keep or young families here. Active living is a defining feature of our neighbourhood — there’s a walking path, biking, skating, and rowing and paddling on the river — and we need to view this challenge as an opportunity. For generations, people of all ages have used the pool, and we lived at the pool during my teenage years. It’s been such a positive feature of our community."
Community journalist — The Lance
Simon Fuller is the community journalist for The Lance. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org Call him at 204-697-7111
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