Avid swimmers concerned as clock ticks on Corner Brook pool's closure
Grenfell campus pool needs repairs, but officials say they don't have the money
It's looking like the end of the road for the swimming pool at Memorial University's Grenfell Campus in Corner Brook.
Officials have announced that the last day of operation for the 40-year-old pool will be April 10.
The pool is closing indefinitely after Grenfell officials determined that there is not enough money to complete the necessary repairs on the facility.
Repairs have been estimated to cost as much as $2-million — a figure that officials said they simply do not have.
Ed Mercer, president of the Corner Brook Rapids Swim Club, said the closure of the pool will have an immediate impact on his swimmers.
"We're going to have to revamp our schedule, and it's going to create for a congestion in the pool. It will impact — I believe — the swimmers' experience in the pool," he told CBC Radio's Corner Brook Morning Show.
Mercer said the Arts and Culture Centre pool is already overtaxed as it is, and the closure of the Grenfell pool will severely limit the amount of activities that can occur there.
He said the closure will have an especially large effect for youth and adults who use the pool to stay physically fit.
"Childhood obesity is a concern in our province and we're trying to encourage our kids to be physically active, and this is a step in the opposite direction," said Mercer.
Renovations could cost less than expected
Brian Tucker, a senior and frequent swimmer in Corner Brook, said he doesn't understand why the university isn't doing more to fix the facility.
"Swimming is one of the best exercises that you can do," he said.
Childhood obesity is a concern in our province ... This is a step in the opposite direction- Ed Mercer
"You can do it from the time that you're potty trained, until you're 88, 89 years old."
Tucker believes that repairs could be done for much less than the calculated $2-million.
He said that figure includes a full renovation of locker room facilities.
The bare minimum of repairs needed to keep the pool open is actually closer to $500,000, he said.
"This can be done within a three- to five-month period and everything would be solved," said Tucker.
"The rest of the stuff that they're doing can occur later on as it goes."
Ed Mercer is not too optimistic, however.
While he'd like to see a move made to keep the pool in use, he said there doesn't appear to be any forward movement on a resolution.
"There's certainly no signs from any politicians or any of the powers that be that they're going give funds towards the upkeep of this pool," he said.
Following the closure in April, Corner Brook will have only one indoor pool facility.
With files from the Corner Brook Morning Show