Placentia looks to YMCA for potential partnership
Letter of intent could pave way for non-profit group to operate new pool
The Town of Placentia is gearing up for a new pool slated to substantially improve what it can offers residents when it comes to recreation. With that in mind, the municipality is looking for the right kind of group to look after programming and operations, and it believes YMCA Newfoundland and Labrador represents the right fit for the task.
With a new swimming pool on the horizon, the Town of Placentia is looking to partner up with a non-profit group known for appealing to the needs of people from all walks of life.
Last Monday, representatives of the town and the YMCA of Newfoundland and Labrador signed a letter of intent regarding the new Placentia Pool and Wellness Centre. The hope is the town and the YMCA can eventually hammer out a long-term agreement that would involve the latter group delivering programs out of the facility, which will also include a fitness centre.
“I guess it was almost a mutual thing,” Mayor Wayne Power Jr. told The Compass. “We both sort of started to reach out to one another at the one time. We saw the Y involved with other municipalities in similar projects, so we got think that maybe this was something that could fit here, and before I guess we got to call them, they were calling us.”
Funding for the pool was an- nounced last fall and comes from the Voisey’s Bay Development Agreement. The $4.5-million commitment from the province will not be available until 2017, but Power said work is underway to ensure the wellness centre is shovel-ready for next year. The local Lions Club raised hundreds-of-thousands of dollars for the project.
A new Marystown YMCA opened in February of this year, and YMCA Newfoundland and Labrador CEO Jason Brown likens that project to the one in Placentia. People can avail of swimming there through a membership or day-pass. It has a fitness centre and indoor playground, and child-minding services are also available.
“The town owns the building, and the YMCA operates it under a long-term agreement, and the response has been outstanding,” said Brown, noting the Marystown YMCA currently has 1,500 members.
“That’s exactly what we were looking for — an organization with the experience to come in, offer a good catalogue of programs that could be of good use to the residents of the community,” added the mayor.
Drawings for the facility in Placentia include a pool, fitness centre, multi-purpose space and change rooms, all connected to the existing hockey arena Unity Parc. The town is not looking to have YMCA Newfoundland and Labrador take over operations of the rink, according to the mayor.
YMCA Newfoundland and Labrador has longstanding operations in Corner Brook, Grand Falls-Windsor and St. John’s, plus a new location in the Bay-St. George area. The group is also working with the Town of Happy Valley-Goose-Bay to develop a YMCA in that community.
That’s exactly what we were looking for — an organization with the experience to come in, offer a good catalogue of programs that could be of good use to the residents of the community. Wayne Power Jr.
Placentia Mayor Wayne Power Jr., left, YMCA Newfoundland and Labrador CEO Jason Brown and provincial board chairwoman Laurie Skinner chat prior to the signing of a letter of intent for the Placentia Pool and Wellness Centre.
This is what the new pool in Placentia might look like once it’s built.