City proposes replacing Atkinson Pool with splash pad

City says closing the Atkinson Pool would create annual operating savings of an estimated $42,500 a year. The splash pad will be similar to ones installed at Captain John Wilson Park and AKO Park.
The City of Windsor is once again considering shutting down Atkinson Pool. This time, the city wants to replace it with a splash pad. (City of Windsor)

The outdoor pool at Atkinson Park is once again targeted for closure in another round of budget talks at city hall, but residents will have an opportunity to voice their concerns at a public meeting Tuesday.

City staff recommends filling in the pool at Atkinson Park and replacing it with a splash pad.

Closing the pool would create annual operating savings of an estimated $42,500 a year, said Jan Wilson, the city's executive director of recreation and culture. The splash pad will be similar to ones installed at Captain John Wilson Park and AKO Park.

Members of the group Friends for Atkinson Park and Pool will be at the public meeting to once again defend the city amenity they've long protected.

Atkinson Pool has been on the chopping block before. Back in 2013, the city considered shutting it down, but council backed off after residents loudly opposed the cost-saving measure.

"We fought 15 years to keep the park and the pool open," said Marilyn Woodison, chairwoman of Friends for Atkinson Park and Pool. "Every so often this comes up when it comes to budget."

The group has helped add features to the park, including the construction of a skateboard park. Woodison gets particularly frustrated when cost-cutting measures target pools or community parks.

"You can't keep closing neighbourhood pools and neighbourhood parks," she said. "Community parks are vital for a city."

The public will have its chance to comment during a public meeting held on Tuesday at Adie Knox Herman Recreation Complex between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Wilson said several residents have already voiced their opposition to the proposal, but says there are families and children who support the idea of having a splash pad. 

"I don't expect this to be overwhelming one way or another," she said about Tuesday's meeting. "But it's important for council to know what the community does think about this idea."

Should the Atkinson pool close, those in the area who would still want to use a community pool could go to Adie Knox or MicMac instead for their aquafit classes and recreational swimming.


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