April 27, 2015 - 7:31 PM
KAMLOOPS – Westsyde Pool is set to shut down for more than a year as the city addresses a failing roof and not everyone is happy about the decision.
“I am very upset about it and frustrated," Amanda Cosburn, a nurse and Westsyde resident, says.
This week she started a petition in an effort to lobby the city to not only reconsider closing the Westsyde Pool, but build a bigger, better facility.
The pool is expected to close this summer and not reopen until the fall of 2016. It will likely cost between $1.3 and $2.1 million to repair.
"What we would like to see is a new facility for a community-recreation center with a bigger gym, an indoor year-round pool, along with community rooms that can be open to the public for various recreational activities," Cosburn says in her online petition.
She firmly believes new facilities are necessary. The community, she says, is expanding, with new residential and commercial construction, and community facilities need to expand with it.
“We have a river right down the road we don't need another outdoor pool,” Cosburn says, dismissing an alternative proposed by the city for the pool.
She adds there are only two other places in the city to swim year-round, the downtown YMCA and the Canada Games Pool, and both are an inconvenience to Westsyde residents.
Cosburn and her husband moved from Victoria three years ago, and chose to live in Westsyde because of the community feel.
“Coming from Victoria it was so refreshing to see people out and about, walking dogs, rollerblading, biking, street hockey, and seeing whole families together outdoors,” she says.
The couple bought their first house in the area because they felt Westsyde was the perfect community to raise their future children. Anything that diminishes the neighbourhood is of great concern to Cosburn.
“The Westsyde community would greatly benefit from having a recreation center . We believe it would help improve the quality of life, give our residents more to do year round, especially our youth.”
Closing the Westsyde pool has become a lively topic on social media. Many residents have expressed their discontent on both Facebook and Twitter.
Some residents don’t only feel inconvenienced, but fear if the pool is closed for as long as a year it might never actually re-open.
Others commented on the city proposing to spend $90 million on a performing arts centre, something Cosburn mentions in her petition, while the Westsyde pool literally rotted away.
"What about that ($90 million) for that new theater, why not fix this up instead?" One commenter notes.
Some commenters also asked how the pool could fall into such disrepair. The heating and venilation system, held responsible by the city for the moisture problems leading to roof failure, had not been replaced since the building was first built almost 40 years ago.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2015