Yarmouth looks to open pool, fitness centre in former YMCA building
YMCA closed last summer after being in operation for more than a century
The town of Yarmouth, N.S., hopes to have a pool and fitness centre open to the public by this fall.
It would fill a void left when the financially strapped YMCA shut down last June after operating in the community for 162 years.
"People are suffering," said Mayor Pam Mood. "It was just such a community hub and you can't remove that without repercussions."
The town bought the former YMCA building on Main Street last year. Councillors approved a new budget April 9 with $200,000 set aside to help reopen the facility for swimming lessons and fitness classes.
Mood said the facility is needed for seniors and young people.
Expansion to arena being considered
She said the centre at the former YMCA would be an interim solution while an expansion to the multipurpose Mariners Centre is being considered.
"We're looking at building an aquatic centre there, but there has to be a bridge," said Mood. "We all know it's going to take a minimum of five to eight years to get that up and running."
The Mariners Centre is a two-rink complex that is owned by the town and the Municipality of Yarmouth, with contributions from the Municipality of the District of Argyle.
A cost-sharing agreement will have to be worked out before the project can apply for provincial and federal funding.
"We don't even know yet what the number is on the Mariners Centre expansion plan, we don't know if it's $25 million or $35 million," said Mood.