'We miss our pool:' Frustrations grow over Wascana Pool project delays
REGINA -- Frequent users of Wascana Pool are frustrated that construction of the rebuild appears to have been delayed.
The pool was demolished last fall and was set to be rebuilt during 2020 and 2021.
“We were told last year that it would take approximately two years to complete, so by losing this year, we’re looking at two more years down the road,” swimmer Kathy Rodger said on Tuesday.
The City of Regina said it’s currently waiting for approval from the Provincial Capital Commission (PCC) regarding the pool design.
It said it can’t comment on the project’s schedule until it hears back from the PCC.
In a statement, a spokesperson with the PCC said the City of Regina is the proponent of the Wascana Pool project.
“[They] must complete the PCC’s 38 step proponent development process. The Wascana Pool project is at step 23 of this process, and is currently under review by the PCC’s Architectural Advisory Committee,” the statement said.
The PCC added there were no delays due to COVID-19 on this front.
Some swimmers feel the pool should have stayed open while the process carries out.
“We have frustrations that it was torn down before the finances or the plans were in place,” said swimmer Jeannie Mah. “We could have been using this for another year, enjoying this for another year.”
In a statement, the City of Regina said the pool was not in a condition that would allow for another year of operation.
Along with frustrations over the construction delay, swimmers are also concerned the new design will likely be smaller than they had hoped.
The swimmers say they’ve voiced these concerns throughout the consultation process held by the city.
“We miss our pool. We would like to have a usable 50 metre pool built,” Rodger said. “We certainly feel like our concerns were not heard. We also feel like the process of how these decisions were made, how the budget was communicated, and how the survey was communicated in 2019 was a little confusing for many people.”
“To me, it’s the unfairness of calling it a Wascana pool rebuild when they’re not going to rebuild what we had for 72 years,” Mah said. “In the survey, many people said they wanted a pool that was the same size.”
The city said it recognized some people would like the pool to be replaced with a new 50-metre pool.
However, it said there was lots of community interest in providing different aquatic opportunities.
“The final concept design reflects the views of over 5,000 residents that provided feedback throughout the engagement on the design of Wascana Pool,” the city said.