No pool for Iqaluit until 2016

The City of Iqaluit has decided not to renew a lease on the current pool, meaning residents won't have a pool facility until the new centre opens in 2016.

City decided not to renew the lease on the current pool’s property

The City of Iqaluit won’t have a functioning pool for its residents until 2016.

The city decided not to renew its pool lease with Nunastar Properties after March 31, 2013. This means residents will have to wait to go swimming indoors until the new aquatic centre is ready in 2016.

The city has leased the property for the current pool from Nunastar for the past 40 years. During refilling this fall, the pool’s basin cracked and it has been closed since then.  

Iqaluit mayor John Graham said he's disappointed that the city and Nunastar Properties weren't able to reach a deal to keep the current pool open for another three years. (CBC)

A review by engineering consultants said it would cost of $161,000 to fix the basin. However, the city said repairs won't guarantee that other problems with the basin wouldn’t arise. Nunastar insisted on a termination clause which would allow the company the option to close the pool after July 1, 2014.

The city decided to terminate the lease instead of paying for repairs.

"Council felt that this deal was not in the best interest of the city. To invest in expensive repairs with no guarantee that pool would be open past July 2014 could not be justified," said Iqaluit Mayor John Graham.

That means the pool will not re-open, leaving children and adult swimmers high and dry.

Yvonne Earle has been teaching Aquafit classes at the pool for 20 years. She said she's disappointed, but is trying to stay positive.

"I may be very out of shape by 2016 if I don't find something else to do. But I think we just need to work towards the new pool now and put our focus there," said Earle.