UPDATE: Bay Roberts leaders renewing emphasis to build new pool

Current facility showing its age, says recreation director

Nicholas Mercer nmercer@cbncompass.ca
Published on July 2, 2014

Bay Roberts Mayor Philip Wood (left) and recreation director Ian Flynn stand in front of the current swimming pool in the community. The pool has seen its fair share of trouble over the years and came close to shutting down this summer. The town is now getting everything in order in hopes of securing funding.

Photo by Nicholas Mercer/The Compass

The swimming pool in Bay Roberts is closed until Monday (July 14) due to water issues.

As a result, the Town of Bay Roberts is attempting to speed up the process for building a new aquatic centre in the community.

This comes after the current facility, the Bay Roberts Swimming Pool, came close to shutting down for the summer just days before registration was set to begin.

Officials with the town started noticing problems with the facility when staff started preparing for the 2014 season.

“We discovered that we had a leak in the building,” said recreation director Ian Flynn.

This meant water was seeping through a crack in the concrete floor when the pool was filled.

Staff drained the pool and did some minor work to repair the crack before re-filling.

“As of right now, it seems to be up and running,” said Flynn.

The director said it took staff working “around the clock” in order to make sure the pool met its June 21 registration day goals.

However, there is still some uneasiness when it comes to the pool.

Construction began on the pool in 1969, which has officials believing the facility is beginning to show its age.

“The problem with the infrastructure is it is aging,” said Wood.

The mayor noted the concrete for the base of the pool was poured in the 1970s, while the furnace came out of the old Amalgamated Academy when it was located on Patterson Street in Bay Roberts.

The piping has been an issue in recent years, as the town has taken to using patch-work to prolong its lifespan.

“At the end of the day, you have to say, are you throwing good money after bad money?” asked Wood.

“It’s time for us to become more determined to get a new pool,” he added.

In March, the town gave the go ahead to TRACT Consulting to begin the site selection process, earmarking some $5,000.

Four years ago, Eric and Betty Jerrett donated three acres of land to the town for the purposes of establishing a new pool on the site. That has been identified as the preferred spot.

Now, the town has again turned to TRACT, this time for design specifications.

Part of that process has been getting public opinion on what should be included in the decision. The town has also spoken with other municipalities of similar sizes that have pools.

“They recommend wholeheartedly that (the pool) go near a school,” said Wood.


A popular spot

In Bay Roberts, swimming is a hot-ticket activity. Spots for swimming lessons fill up quickly and registration is a highly anticipated event. Currently, the pool has filled every spot available for lessons with waiting lists for each age group.

With this in mind, the town has taken great lengths to ensure it remains open during the summer months.

The town believes it has taken great strides towards the funding that will grant them a new pool in the future.

“The steps we’ve taken are the steps we feel will put us in the best position with the government, at the end of the day, to enable us to have funding,” said Flynn.

A public meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. tonight (July 8) at the Avalon North Wolverines Search and Rescue Building in Bay Roberts.