Group frustrated province won't help with $200K in pool repairs

A woman whose family donated $300,000 to help upgrade a community pool in Bible Hill, N.S., says she's frustrated the province won't chip in to fix up the facility's deteriorating exterior.

Scotia Pool Society in Bible Hill raised $500K for interior upgrades, wants government to fix exterior

The Scotia Pool is mainly used by seniors and young children and hosts numerous therapy sessions. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

A woman whose family donated $300,000 to help upgrade a community pool in Bible Hill, N.S., says she's frustrated the province won't chip in to fix up the facility's deteriorating exterior. 

Glenda Bower, who is also chair of the board of directors for the Scotia Pool Society, said the building needs $200,000 in repairs to its roof and brickwork before next winter.

"The roof needs to be completely replaced. It's leaking and the wood decking is rotting," said Bower. "Bricks need to be repointed or replaced in many cases."

Many of the bricks on the building's exterior need to be replaced, according to the Scotia Pool Society. The group says the roof also leaks and needs to be replaced. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

No money to help, says province

The 44-year-old Scotia Pool is owned by the province but leased to the non-profit society.

Other provincially owned buildings that surround Scotia Pool have recently been renovated.

James Webster, the building services district manager for the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, said the department has no money to help with the project, but it has no objection to the society hiring a contractor to do the work.

New on the inside

The society has already raised $500,000 to help make the facility's interior virtually brand new.

There are new humidification units and a propane burner system, along with new tiles along the deck of the pool room and in change rooms. A new chairlift was also installed to help anyone with mobility issues.

The Scotia Pool Society raised $500,000 and made several upgrades to the pool's interior. (Paul Palmeter/CBC)

One large donation came from Bower's family. Her dad, Glen Smith, died in 2014 and his widow donated $300,000 to the pool society in his name.

"The fact the province will not help us when we've put half a million dollars into the inside of the building that came from grants, fundraisers and a private donation, is very frustrating at this point," said Bower.

"We need about another $200,000 to repair the exterior of our building and we don't have that much money left."

Pool to be renamed 

The pool will be renamed the Glen W. Smith Community Pool at a grand reopening June 22.

"It makes me proud and I think it honours my father," said Bower. "He would appreciate that his name is on a building that is so beneficial to so many people."

The building has a popular heated pool that is mainly used by seniors and children, and also hosts several therapy classes every week.

"I love this place," said Brenda Geldart, secretary-treasurer of the Scotia Pool Society.

"This pool got me off mega pain pills and gave me my life back. It took me out of the doctor's office and I'm so grateful."

About the Author

Paul Palmeter


Paul Palmeter is an award-winning video journalist born and raised in the Annapolis Valley. He has covered news and sports stories across the province for 25 years.