Bay Roberts laying groundwork for new pool
The Town of Bay Roberts is making sure to have their ducks in a row when it comes to their proposed recreation and aquatic facility. Even though they have no government funding, they have site selected and the design completed, and town recreation director Ian Flynn says the recreation committee is now looking to get a jump on the fundraising work.
The Town of Bay Roberts is making sure all of the work on their end is completed when it comes to the proposed aquatic facility.
Recreation director Ian Flynn, the man at the forefront of the work, wants the provincial government to have all of the answers available to them when they begin looking at projects to support.
He recognized that with the powers-that-be facing a $2 billion deficit, spending on infrastructure like recreation facilities will be either limited or non-existent, but that hasn’t stopped them from spearheading the project.
“Our plan is that if and when government is ready and awards us some money, they know we’re shovel ready,” said Flynn in a recent interview with The Compass. “For years, we’ve been approaching government saying, ’We need a new pool, we need a new pool,’ and the answer was always, ‘Well, we don’t know what you want. How can we award you money, if we don’t know what you want?’”
To that end, the town has completed the site selection and design phases of the project and has entered the fundraising part of the process. They modeled their dream facility on a similar structure in Dieppe, N.B., and hope to have it built on land a resident donated to the town. It would be alongside Amalgamated Academy and the planned school to replace Coley’s Point Primary.
“To have a recreation facility and pool within a two-minute walk from 1,800 kids in the K-12 school system was too good to turn down,” said Flynn.
Now, the recreation committee aims to raise some $2 million towards the pool by the end of 2017. To that end, they’ve partnered with the town’s heritage foundation in hopes of generating some excitement around the community. The idea is to approach corporate sponsors around the region, while also holding special events that will create a buzz.
The bells and whistles
As it stands now, the design calls for a state of the art facility with multiple pools and all of the bells and whistles.
There is a pair of pools, one for competitive swimming and another that will function for therapeutic reasons, meeting rooms, spaces for birthdays, family change rooms and ample space for community events or cultural arts events.
“We really liked the layout and felt it fit the needs of everyone in the region,” said Flynn.
As Flynn alluded to, the idea of a new pool isn’t one that’s recent. The town has been after a new facility for some time in an effort to replace the rapidly aging Bay Roberts Swimming Pool next to Ascension Collegiate. The concrete for the pool was poured in the 1970s, making it more than three decades old. At this age, recreation facilities start to show their age and the pool is no different.
Bay Roberts makes sure it remains open in the summer time when swimming becomes a fabric of the community, but it’s become high time to replace the structure. A new year-round aquatic centre would thrust Bay Roberts into a position it hasn’t seen in all of the years the town has had a pool. That means job creation and a shift for a pool that has been summer only for the entirety of its existence.
“Now we have a building that we can use year round and have programs throughout the day for the kids because now you can optimize the school programs as well,” said Flynn. “That where we see our benefit there.”
Flynn has made sure Harbour Grace-Port de Grave MHA Pam Parsons is in the know when it comes to the proposed aquatic centre. She has the design plan on her desk.
“I want the document to be a current document,” he said.
Our plan is that if and when government is ready awards us some money, they we’re shovel ready. Ian Flynn