WATERLOO - The life of Wilfrid Laurier University's 50-metre swimming pool will be extended 15 to 20 years thanks to a combined contribution of $2 million from the federal and provincial governments to assist with repairs to the aging aquatic facility.
The federal and provincial governments announced today that they will provide $1 million each for repair work. The government funding is in addition to $2.2 million already committed by the university, students, community aquatic groups, the cities of Waterloo and Kitchener, and individual donors.
“Our government is proud to support recreational infrastructure and encourage higher levels of participation in physical activity,” said Kitchener-Waterloo MP Peter Braid. “Everyone from recreational swimmers to elite Olympic athletes have benefited from the Laurier pool, and this investment will help ensure it continues to serve our community for years to come.”
"This is great news for our entire community," said Kitchener-Centre MPP John Milloy. "I am pleased that our governments, as well as community partners and the Laurier community, have come together with a longer-term solution to support the revitalization of Laurier’s pool. This funding will not only extend the life of the pool by 15 to 20 years, but will ensure Laurier students and community groups continue to have access to the level and quality of aquatic facility they need to train and compete.”
The repair work began in early June. The pool is scheduled to reopen by the end of September, although a short shutdown may be required in December to complete the project.
The 35-year-old Laurier pool is the only 50-metre competitive aquatic facility in Waterloo Region and is used by many community groups, including the Region of Waterloo Swim Club (ROW), the KW Synchronized Swim Club, the Waterloo Regional Synchronized Swim Club, the KW Water Polo Club, and high schools, elementary schools and Special Olympics athletes. Community groups use approximately 60 per cent of the pool’s scheduled operation time.
The aging facility was scheduled to close in 2008 because of the high cost of much-needed repairs. However, given the importance of the pool to the university and community aquatic groups, fund-raising efforts were launched and sufficient funds were raised to do short-term repairs that would extend the life of the pool by an estimated five years. The addition of the federal and provincial funding is now expected to extend the life of the pool by 15 to 20 years.
“The Laurier pool has been a valued community asset for nearly four decades,” said university president Dr. Max Blouw. “The repair project is a great example of community cooperation and I am pleased that the federal and provincial governments have joined with the university, our students, our donors, and our municipal and community partners in funding this work.”
The federal and provincial funding will allow the university to:
• Replace the pool’s filtration system
• Replace the chlorination system
• Carry out a variety of structural and roofing repairs
• Undertake other improvements, including change-room upgrades and painting
Previously planned pool repairs were enabled through community fund-raising, student contributions, individual donations, and university and municipal funding. These include:
• Replacement of the air-handling and de-humidification system
• Replacement of the curtain wall and the repair of pressure-relief valves in the pool
• Some building reconstruction, including masonry, insulation and vapour barrier
• Improvements to the mechanical space to improve health-and-safety and water quality
• Improvements to interior finishes, including the pool deck, walls, drains and equipmentContact
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