Pool construction continues

This summer marked the beginning of the repair process for Laurier’s Olympic-sized pool.

The pool’s future has been a subject of many questions over the past few years.

Issues surrounding its viability came to a head last year when the pool was nearly shut down because it appeared as though there would be insufficient funds to make badly needed repairs.

However, in March this year, the pool was finally saved.

The necessary funds were secured through initiatives of the students of Wilfrid Laurier University,
Region of Waterloo (ROW) Swim Club and the cities of Waterloo and Kitchener to refurbish the pool with a temporary five-year fix.

The pool was closed down in early June in order to complete these repairs and the construction was supposed to be completed for the start of the school year.

But when a $2 million donation from the federal and provincial governments surfaced in June, WLU obtained enough funding to complete a significant overhaul and expand the life of the pool another 20 years.

These changes – which include replacing the filtration system and a variety of structural and roofing repairs – have pushed back the pool’s projected opening date to mid-October.

“The contractors have been great to work with and have at times worked 24-7 this summer to push the project,” said Laurier’s director of athletics and recreation Peter Baxter.

“The end result will be that the pool will look brand new. More importantly, we will not have to worry about planning for a new pool in five years as we thought back in March when we had only $2.2 million to have a short term fix.”

The completion of the project will exhibit the benefits of Laurier’s partnerships and the determination of the student and local community in working together to prevent the potential closure.

In the meantime, Laurier’s swim team is practicing at Harry Class Pool in Kitchener as they prepare for their first meet on Oct. 3 at McMaster.

The Athletic Complex’s new and improved pool will be put to the test in late January when it will play host to the last regular season meet before the provincial championship.