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School pools in Toronto face closure

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Pools at three Toronto-area schools may close as the city is cancelling programs operated at these aquatic facilities.

Several Toronto-area school pools may lose funding after the city of Toronto has decided the facilities are no longer needed for its parks and recreation programs.

According to a Toronto Star report, the city told the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) it will no longer require the pools at Brown Junior Public School, Sir Wilfrid Laurier Collegiate Institute and Bendale Business and Technical Institute; however, the board is arguing sufficient notice has not been provided.

Under a 2003 agreement, which was to run through 2017, the city funds 33 pools, covering all operating costs. The aquatic facilities are used by the schools during the day and open to the public after hours throughout the summer. Should the city’s funding stop, the board says it will lose $530,000.

One trustee has made a formal request to the city to continue the operations of the pools at the three schools for the 2016-17 academic year stating the terms of the agreement were not met, while parents with interests at the schools have also reached out to their city councilor.

“The pool is part of their curriculum, this is part of their activities and to have that taken away from them, we can’t—quite frankly—figure out what type of exercise these kids are going to get during the day without a pool,” Lisa Bernstein, co-chair of Brown Junior Public School’s parent council said in the report.

The city and board are to discuss the funding agreement and future of the school pools in June 2017.

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