January 30, 2016 - 10:30 AM
KAMLOOPS - The future of the Westsyde pool is still unclear as a report from the city puts five options on the table for councillors to discuss Tuesday.
The report, from the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services department, outlines four options for the pool to be repaired or upgraded, but suggests a fifth option; that a study be commissioned to look at broader options for the North Shore, Brocklehurst and Westsyde neighbourhoods.
“We’ve had other problems pop up, so the report says we should reevaluate the recreation needs for the entire Westsyde, Brocklehurst and North Shore,” mayor Peter Milobar says. “There’s other pool infrastructure on the North Shore that’s nearing the end of it’s life.”
The report suggests that before capital be invested in aging facilities, there be a review of all recreation services in the North Shore, Westsyde and Brocklehurst to assess long term needs of the area. The report mentions McDonald Park’s outdoor pool is facing more than $200,000 in repairs before it can reopen and notes the loss of the Ice Box arena.
With a petition delivered to the the mayor on Wednesday, members of the Westsyde community are pushing for a larger recreation facility to replace the old pool. However, Milobar says the city is restricted by the land available and rising costs for the pool roof.
“What we need to grapple with is what is inside those four walls,” Milobar says. “As a city we’re not trying to walk away from them having a recreation facility.”
Initial estimates of $2.1 million won’t cover any of the immediate options listed in the report. Basic repairs, the cheapest option, would still cost over $3 million with the roof being replaced and a new dehumidification system installed. The original roof collapsed due to moisture in January 2015.
An all year outdoor pool, modernization and a so-called net zero refresh of the site are the other options. The modernization of the pool would see mechanical parts upgraded or replaced, but little change for the pools users.
Another option may be McArthur Island as the site for a new pool and alternative community uses of the current facilities. The study would be looking at that as an option.
“What we need to find out is would we be better served by building a modern amenity pool that would accommodate the population on the North Shore,” Milobar says.
The Westsyde pool has been closed since June 2015. A weight room in the building does remain open.
If the councillors decide on the study on Tuesday, the report says the goal is to have results within 90 days.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016