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Wednesday, 14 April 2010 16:48

Making a splash in Leader with a new pool

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By Gail Jansen
The Town of Leader will soon be making a splash with their new pool set to begin construction this fall.

At two meetings held this past Saturday, the Make a Splash Committee of Leader, led by Chair Jackie Mertin, led about 100 people through the plans for the new outdoor and in-ground facility that will be larger than the community’s existing pool.

“We had a presentation Saturday afternoon for businesses, done by Western Recreation, the company we’ve hired to build the new pool, which is when we signed the contract to go ahead with it,” says Mertin.

With a beach-entry styled edging that will be wheel-chair accessible, and easy for small children to play in, says Mertin, the Junior Olympic-styled pool will also contain a diving board once construction is completed. The projected completion date is July 1, 2011.

To know the reason for wanting to build a new pool in the community, says Mertin, one just simply needs to look at their old one, which has long since passed its prime.

“We have about two to three years of life left in our existing pool,” explains Mertin. “It was built in 1962, and every year it costs more and more money to repair. Last year alone, we ended up filling it three times, because it would drain as a result of all the cracks in the cement. It’s really served its purpose.”

To fund the project, Mertin says they’ve approached different levels of government, businesses and service clubs, with the next stage being to solicit sponsorships from businesses and individuals.

“We’ve created tiered-donation levels, so that businesses or individuals can make the contribution that best suits them,” explains Mertin. “Part of the meeting on Saturday had me doing a presentation that explained our Gold ($5,000), Silver ($3,500) and Bronze ($2,500) levels of sponsorship, and the tax credit they can receive through their donation.”

With $300,000, of the estimated $750,000 total project cost raised to date, Mertin says while an indoor/covered pool had been looked at, ultimately it came down to simple costs.

“To have a year-round pool would have just been too expensive for us. Even with just operating three months of the year–the costs are quite high, so we had to go with this option.”

For Mertin and the other 20 members of the committee who have worked so hard to bring this project to a reality, having a modern working pool is something they hope will not only bring benefit to existing community members, but will also attract new families to the area, who are looking to relocate to a small town.

“Having this pool is essential to our community. It teaches life-saving skills to our children, provides youth with employment for the summers, and helps to promote a healthy lifestyle while at the same time providing a gathering place for members of the community to meet at and interact, but we also hope that it will be a beacon that will help attract new, young families to the area,” explains Mertin.

“People who are looking at relocating often look at what recreational facilities a community has, before deciding to settle there. Having this new swimming pool will create a fun environment for our kids, give them something to do and keeps them busy.”

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