Young swimmers dive into one of the city's municipal pools.
CORNWALL, Ontario - The next step in the removal of a venerable city pool took place this week, when city council green-lighted a tender for the demolition of the Riverdale swimming facility.
A $17,700 tender was awarded to Malyon Excavation for the demolition of the pool basin. The city has set aside $55,000 which includes the demolition of the pool basin and the removal of all associated mechanical equipment from the pool house in preparation for the next phase of the project.
The pool will be replaced with a splash pad, but that component won't be completed until next year.
City parks manager Christine Lefebvre said earlier the reason lies in the economics of repairing a pool that is more than 50 years old.
"It's obsolete. We can't even get parts for it," she said back in March. "We've been trying to keep it going."
The final straw came when it was determined a return line beneath the pool is leaking badly.
Seaway News has received calls from frustrated residents, who did not want to share their names, complaining about the decision.
But Lefebvre pointed out the city is following a plan it established in 2009 to rid itself of outdated pools and replace them with splash pads.
Two other city pools, St. Therese on Thirteenth Street and Kinsmen off of St. Felix Street, have also been closed in recent years – which was accompanied by complaints from residents in those neighbourhoods.
"The other two neighbourhoods were passionate about their pools too," said Lefebvre.
To build a new pool in Riverdale would cost at least $800,000 - likely more - while a splash pad rings in at $350,000 and requires little operating expenditures thereafter.
Monday night a few ity councillors questioned the demoltiion, but the majority agreed the costs of replacing the pool with a duplicate are just too much.
The closest pool for residents in the Riverdale neighbourhood will now be St. Francis de Sales, located on Second Street between Brookdale Avenue and Cumberland Street.
Lefebvre said the replacement splash pad in Riverdale won't be built until 2015 - subject to city council budget approval.