Pool­ing ideas

Com­mu­nity voices sug­ges­tions on new aquatic fa­cil­ity


“Our goal is to de­velop a kick-ass fa­cil­ity.”

Those were the words from TRACT Con­sult­ing project man­ager Neil Dawe at the con­clu­sion of the com­pa­nies’ pub­lic meet­ing on the de­sign of the planned aquatic fa­cil­ity.

The meet­ing took place at the Avalon North Wolver­ines Search and Res­cue Build­ing on July 7. It brought out 120 res­i­dents from Bay Roberts and the sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties in­clud­ing Spa­niard’s Bay and Bryant’s Cove.

How­ever, as per TRACT pref­er­ences, none of the town’s elected of­fi­cials or staff were present, al­though re­cre­ation di­rec­tor Ian Flynn was present for a brief pe­riod to give an up­date on the sta­tus of the cur­rent fa­cil­ity.

It had been closed all week due to is­sues with its fil­tra­tion sys­tem.

Last­ing an hour-and-a-half, the meet­ing brought to­gether school ad­min­is­tra­tors, teach­ers and lawyers, as well as doc­tors and fi­nan­cial ad­vi­sors.

It was a mix­ture of people from all walks of life. This pool think-tank pro­duced a smor­gas­bord of ideas.

As one res­i­dent of­fered up a sug­ges­tion, an­other stepped in and brought the idea along fur­ther.

These ideas in­cluded a six-lane pool, a larger ob­ser­va­tion deck, a part of the pool de­signed for tod­dlers and young chil­dren, fam­ily change rooms and proper space for birth­day par­ties.

With each sug­ges­tion Phillip Pratt, a mem­ber of the de­sign team, was writ­ing them down on a large piece of paper, sim­i­lar to what teach­ers use.

By the end of the meet­ing, Pratt had filled two pages and was half­way through a third. “This makes our job way eas­ier,” said Dawe. One de­tail did emerge for the new fa­cil­ity when it was re­vealed it would be a 12-month fa­cil­ity, sim­i­lar to what is found in neigh­bour­ing mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Car­bon­ear.

TRACT has pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence with sim­i­lar fa­cil­i­ties in Pasadena, Con­cep­tion Bay South and Mount Pearl.

Three phases

Dawe said the con­struc­tion of the pro­posed pool is bro­ken down into three phases — de­vel­op­ing the plan, con­struc­tion and main­tain­ing the fa­cil­ity.

The pre­ferred build­ing site has been iden­ti­fied. That is the land do­nated by Eric Jer­rett a num­ber of years ago.

The land lies be­hind Amal­ga­mated Academy in Bay Roberts.

TRACT would be re­spon­si­ble for the de­sign of the fa­cil­ity. This process has three steps that Dawe and his team, which also in­cludes Pratt and Dr. Don Hunter.

The three steps in the de­sign process in­clude fa­cil­ity plan­ning, build­ing de­sign and an op­er­a­tional plan.

When fin­ished, the town would have a 3-D model of the build­ing and a plan that would help the town main­tain the fa­cil­ity af­ter com­ple­tion is fin­ished.

The price of the fa­cil­ity is not known, which was an is­sue raised by a num­ber of res­i­dents at the meet­ing.

Pool up­date

Flynn gave a short up­date on the sta­tus of the cur­rent pool.

While it has been closed since Mon­day ( July 7), he was pos­i­tive the town will have it open for res­i­dents to use on July 14.

Flynn said the pool’s fil­tra­tion sys­tem has been mal­func­tion­ing, but the town has iden­ti­fied the prob­lem and parts were be­ing flown in from the main­land.

Sil­ica sand, which is used to fil­ter the pool wa­ter, was be­ing put back into the pool, along with any­thing else in the pool. This could in­clude lint, hair or old band-aids.

On the rec­om­men­da­tion of the health in­spec­tor, the town de­cided to shut down the pool un­til the prob­lem could be re­solved.

“This one hurts,” said Flynn in an in­ter­view with The Com­pass ear­lier in the af­ter­noon.

Dawe said the large num­ber of res­i­dents who came out to voice their con­cerns and sug­ges­tions im­pressed him. “Nor­mally, we get half of this,” he said. There will be fur­ther meet­ings be­tween TRACT and var­i­ous com­mu­nity groups in the com­ing days, al­though there is no of­fi­cial time line.

In Bay Roberts, swim­ming is a hot-ticket ac­tiv­ity. Spots for swim­ming lessons fill up quickly and reg­is­tra­tion is a highly an­tic­i­pated event. Cur­rently, the pool has filled ev­ery spot avail­able for lessons with wait­ing lists for each age group.

With this in mind, the town has taken great lengths to en­sure it re­mains open dur­ing the sum­mer months.

The town be­lieves it has taken great strides to­wards the fund­ing that will grant them a new pool in the fu­ture.

“The steps we’ve taken are the steps we feel will put us in the best po­si­tion with the govern­ment, at the end of the day, to en­able us to have fund­ing,” said Flynn.

Photo by Ni­cholas Mercer/The Com­pass

Bay Roberts res­i­dent Richard Collins was one of the cit­i­zens who of­fered sug­ges­tions for pro­posed aquatic fa­cil­ity in Bay Roberts dur­ing a pub­lic meet­ing with TRACT Con­sult­ing at the Avalon North Wolver­ines Search and Res­cue Build­ing in Bay Roberts on July 8.

Photo by Ni­cholas Mercer/The Com­pass

TRACT Con­sult­ing team mem­ber Phillip Pratt writes down sug­ges­tions on easel paper dur­ing the meet­ing.

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