Kamloops YMCA looking at alternatives to aging pool

By Chad Klassen
March 21, 2016 - 4:21pm Updated: March 21, 2016 - 5:51pm

KAMLOOPS — The City of Kamloops has a decision to make in the coming weeks, whether to keep three pools open on the North Shore, including Westsyde pool, or go ahead with a proposed leisure pool on McArthur Island, which would replace those three pools. 

The YMCA pool downtown is an aging facility that could soon need to be repaired as well, or replaced entirely.

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It was built in 1975, the same year and by the same company as the Westsyde pool. Fortunately, the roof at the YMCA facility is different than Westsyde, which has now been closed for close to a year, in need of serious repairs. 

"There's a concrete wall system with cement pillars that are holding up wooden beams and a metal roof deck," says Kamloops YMCA CEO Colin Reid, explaining the roof structure at the Y. "Any time a building envelope fails or if there's a leak, or any time moisture builds up in any of these spots, this is where it can cause immediate problems."

But Reid says its facility is one failure away from being in a similar situation, and the non-profit is already looking at alternatives.

"This is more of long-term solution. What do we do to service the community for the next 40 to 50 years," says Reid. "We're fortunate we don't have the same issues that the city has with the Westsyde pool. But anything that can go wrong in a building like this of that type of magnitude would be a big concern for the YMCA."

There have already been discussions about partnering with the city on a new pool facility.

"We're in constant conversation with the Y. We just met with them a couple weeks ago," says Director of Parks & Recreation Byron McCorkell. "Obviously we just did a big partnership with the John Tod Centre and helped the Y make a transition from where they were."

For the city, which provides $300,000 of funding a year at the downtown pool, it hasn't at all thought about a partnership at McArthur Island.

"We have never really contemplated that," says McCorkell. "All our facilities here are run by the city. Our union does an exceptional job in our pools, so we would have to think long and hard before we have any conversations like that."

No conversations have surfaced about the proposed Mac Island plan, but the YMCA says it's open to it.

"In other Canadians cities, the YMCA is playing a role in working with the city to meet the needs of the community, and we're just opening the door to say, we'd like to be involved in a conversation about how we could maybe meet the needs with the city's help."

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