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Future of Jackson Pool, Germain Arena up for discussion

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Cathy Dobson

City residents will get a chance to wade into the discussion about the future of Jackson Pool on Oct. 28 at a 5 p.m. public meeting.

They can also comment then on whether they want to redevelop Germain Arena into an indoor multi-purpose sports complex.

The future of the two closed recreational facilities could become contentious as city council decides if Jackson Pool would be replaced with a splash pad and if Germain Arena should be demolished in favour of a new structure.

City staff says there may be opportunities for federal infrastructure funds and need council’s blessing to apply for those grants by early November.

Council already gave the green light for a funding application to secure money for a gymnasium at the Strangway Community Centre. But councillors agree with Mayor Mike Bradley that public consultation on Jackson Pool and Germain Arena is necessary.

Coun. Nathan Colquhoun said at the Sept. 30 meeting that for several months he has been collecting names on a petition in support of an indoor sports complex.

There are 776 names on the petition and Colquhoun wants to include it with any application for upper-tier government funding, he said.

But redeveloping the existing arena is not ideal, he added.

“I just want to make sure we’re not stuck in a box of having to repurpose that specific building,” Colquhoun told council.

Indoor sports including soccer, track, baseball, volleyball and rock climbing would be better housed in a new facility, either at Germain Park or elsewhere, he said.

The city’s parks and rec master plan calls for the development of up to three new community splash pads over the next 10 years in the city’s north and west ends.  It also calls for possible redevelopment of Germain Arena, which was shut down in 2015 after 42 years.

The master plan includes a gymnasium at Strangway or at Germain Arena and, among other suggestions, calls for discussions about the viability of using the former SCITS pool as a public facility.

To address council at the Oct. 28 public meeting, notification should be made to the city clerk’s department at 519-332-0330 x3320 or [email protected] on or before noon Wednesday, Oct. 23. However, anyone in attendance will be given an opportunity to speak to council. Written comments may also be directed to the clerk’s department.

 

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