Westsyde residents upset over potential pool closure

By Jessica Lepp
February 3, 2016 - 3:44pm Updated: February 4, 2016 - 10:57am

KAMLOOPS —  After Kamloops Council voted on Tuesday to explore the public's wants and desires when it comes to North Shore sporting facilities, there is early indication of mixed reaction from the public.

WATCH: Full story by Reporter Jessica Lepp

Faced with significant repair costs, the city is tasked with deciding whether to permanently close Westsyde Pool.

But that closure could open the door for expanded services at McArthur Island, an option that has left many conflicted.

"I thought that was outrageous, why would they do that? You have all these people with families and stuff. Why would you make them have to drive to Mac Park?" questioned Westsyde resident Levi Krause.

Krause is reacting to the possibility of a permanent closure of the Westsyde Pool and the construction of a new pool at McArthur Island instead.

Residents have been waiting for the Westsyde Pool to reopen since last Summer when a leaky roof was first identified.

The cost of repairs would be 3 million dollars, but should the city modernize the pool the cost could rise to 13 million.

And because of that the City will be spending 100-thousand dollars to review other options.

"It's disappointing, I think Westsyde needs a facility like that or maybe an expanded facility," says longtime Westsyde resident Ken Schroeder. 

Another proposal includes a new rink, water park, sauna, hot tub and gymnasium for basketball and other sports in Westsyde. But in tern the Westyde pool would close.

"I don't think it's a great idea for Westsyde because I feel there is a lot of seniors around here who use it. It's great community centre for the kids," says fellow Westsyde resident Heather Sharp.

But with the closure of the Westsyde pool could come the possibility of a new leisure pool at Mac Island. However, some fear expanding Mac Island could create even more parking headaches.

"I don't know if the solution would be to make a pool here. Because if they put a pool in Mac Island they're going to have to expand into probably some of the parking areas and parking can be quite difficult," says avid curler Wayne Saboe.

Kamloops' Parks Department will begin engaging the public in the next few months in a number of neighborhood meetings in Westsyde, Brock and the North Shore.

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