Executive Committee gives go-ahead to Wascana Pool concept design

Despite questions and pushback from some citizens, the City’s Executive Committee has decided to go through with the concept design for the new Wascana Pool.

The design was approved at a meeting on Wednesday at City Hall after several delegates presented their opposition to the plan.

Delegates pointed out a number of concerns they had with either the design or process of consultation with the public.

Karen Rose, a member of Friends of Wascana Pool, suggested the online surveys conducted by the city were not designed to properly capture user interests and were simply geared to what the city wanting an outdoor water park concept.

Others like Rob Humphries felt the report presented by city administration to councillors was more of a sales pitch, stating that the proposed plan is “too big, too commercial, too ugly for the park.” Humphries added he was concerned with preserving the park’s nature.

Many of the delegations on Wednesday afternoon also leaned towards the preference of having a 50-metre pool for lane swimmers and other activities rather than the proposed 25-metre by 25-metre basin and a separate leisure pool.

Following the meeting, Deputy Mayor Jason Mancinelli said he wishes they had enough money in the budget to satisfy everyone’s wants, but they trust the consultation process that was rolled out for this project.

“Wascana Pool is very old and there should have been a budget put together decades ago for that kind of thinking, and it wasn’t” suggested Mancinelli.

“We have to make decisions on today, and today’s decisions call us to be financially responsible but still meet what people seem to want. That’s what we’re trying to bridge.”

Another angle of the proposed concept design from city administration. (Image: City of Regina)

The proposed design will also affect 69 trees in Wascana Park. Administration said if there is a way to relocate some of the trees, they will look at doing so.

There were two other options that administration recommended against for the new pool. Option B presented a reduced impact on trees, but didn’t fit the majority of feedback obtained from public consultation since it offered less amenities. The third option would cost more at a price tag of around $4.5 million, have more impact on the surrounding trees and take up a larger space.

Mancinelli said he understands there are wants by some of those community members, but the city wants to be able to provide a broader use for the pool’s users.

“Pools aren’t needs, but we have to do a broad scale of wants and not just those who historically have used the pool,” “Like everything else, when you have change come, there are changes that have to be made. Not everything is a positive change all the time.”

Since the Executive Committee received and filed the report, it means administration will now move ahead with the current concept design.

The next step is the detail design phase which includes taking general ideas to a third-party design firm and determining costs for the proposed facility.

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