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Problems with Loyalist Township rec centre rise to the surface

Photo courtesy Loyalist Township
Ontario’s Loyalist Township’s council raised questions at a recent meeting about what to do with the municipality’s ailing W.J. Henderson Recreation Centre pool.

Ontario’s Loyalist Township’s council raised questions at a recent meeting about what to do with the municipality’s ailing W.J. Henderson Recreation Centre pool.

The pool has been closed since March 9, initially due to water chemistry issues. However, later inspections uncovered several underlying infrastructure issues, including cracking of the pool basin.

The township recognized the need for a new pool and has been exploring development and funding options for the past several years.

In a report to council in June 2021, the costs for building a new pool facility were estimated to cost $25 million, while retrofitting the existing facility by constructing a new aquatics facility was estimated to cost more than $24 million.

Following this report, the township applied to the Green and Inclusive Community Buildings (GICB) federal funding program in July of last year, under both a new build and a retrofit funding stream.

The township continues to await notification from the federal government as to whether the project has been selected for funding. As recently as April 13, staff were informed “officials continue to diligently review and assess projects for eligibility and merit,” and the program administrators could not provide a more precise timeline for a decision at this time.

“We recognize the importance of this aquatic facility to our community,” said  Mayor Rick Bresee. “From our youngest residents to our oldest residents, this pool provides a vital recreation opportunity.”

Township staff are in discussions with potential partners who are willing to work with the township to assist with providing aquatic services to our residents in the interim.

Further information will be provided as soon as details can be confirmed.

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