Halifax must decide between keeping its 40-year-old downtown swimming pool and building a new 50-metre pool in Clayton Park, according to a consultant's report.

The Halifax Regional Municipality plans to build a multi-use recreational facility on the Mainland Common.

The study, paid for by the province and HRM, says the municipality cannot justify running two Olympic-sized pools, which attract competitive swimmers, as well as other aquatic sports. 

Consultant Asbell Management Innovations Inc. found the 50-metre Centennial pool in downtown Halifax to be in poor condition and with a shallow end that no longer meets national standards.

But if a larger pool is part of the recreational facility on the Mainland Common, it could become a flagship site for the region, the report says.

The consultant concludes that the municipality must decide on the future of the Centennial pool before it can determine the size of a pool in Clayton Park. 

For Susan Kirkland, with the local citizens' group Build It Right, the choice is clear.

"It just seems to me that we would be far better off investing our money in a new pool in the Mainland Common and shutting down the Centennial as soon as possible," Kirkland said.

The group hopes to make a presentation to regional council soon.

The report also notes that 50-metre pools across Canada lose money and any new facility at the Mainland Common would likely need an annual operating subsidy of between $400,000 and $600,000.

The Centennial pool receives $140,000 a year.

There is another 50-metre pool in Halifax, run by Dalhousie University. But the study says it doesn't have enough space for spectators or a warm-up pool, which means it could never host a national championship.