New swimming pool in Pointe Claire
BY RAFFY BOUDJIKANIAN
Pointe Claire residents who think there is an overcrowding problem at the city's indoor public swimming pools will be able to break out their bathing suits and towels again — eventually.
Plans call for a swimming pool in a new building located near the existing Malcolm Knox Aquatic Centre on Douglas Shand Avenue. "The aquatic centre has had constant renovations," said Pointe Claire Mayor Bill McMurchie, explaining that its three buildings are 65, 35 and 40 to 45 years old, respectively. There are some levels of infrastructure, such as piping, that just cannot be updated to current standards so easily, he said.
Though the city is planning on spending around $3 million to renovate some of the existing centre, around four times that amount will be going toward the new building. The provincial government is expected to foot about half that amount, and Pointe Claire will be coming up with the rest, McMurchie said. "I think there's a big request for a new swimming pool," said city clerk Stéphane Lemire, at the city's council meeting in January. "Right now, the city's not allowed to have two main buildings (at the current site)," he added. A zoning bylaw amendment approved at the meeting will change that.
According to McMurchie, council decided that a new building was the way to go since simply adding a pool to the existing centre would have meant shutting it down completely for six to nine months, hurting residents who partake in its many programs.
McMurchie said the city would have all of its documentation sorted out by this spring and should then be able to take down bids for construction. However, the new building and pool will not be complete before sometime in 2009. "Twenty-six Olympic trainers have come out of this city since 1965," McMurchie added, stating that the aquatic centre is one of Pointe Claire's sources of pride.