Sherbrook Pool a crucial facility

Sherbrook Pool a Crucial Facility

By: Rob Altemeyer, MLA for Wolseley

As published in The Metro

October 13, 2015

The Sherbrook Pool is set to open in early 2016, starting the new year off with a splash.

This long-awaited project is so exciting because it was driven by, and gives back to, our downtown community. When the pool closed down in November of 2012, the Friends of Sherbrook Pool (FOSP) community group raised their voices in protest, and inspired the City to take on the difficult job of restoration.

Sherbrook Pool is crucial because it is the only affordable pool, within walking distance, for many downtown families. Its soothing warm waters and easy accessibility make it the perfect place to swim for people living with arthritis, multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia or recovering from orthopedic surgery.

I’m proud to say that our government invested almost $2 million dollars to help revitalize this neighbourhood gem. To paint a picture, this money covers the cost of improvements to the pool’s change rooms and water tank, as well as other essential facility upgrades. The Kinsmen Club of Winnipeg also stepped in to help, generously donating $952,000.

Our government also recently provided the FOSP with a Neighbourhoods Alive! grant, to hire a full-time staff person. John Hutton, a board-member of the FOSP, noted that the benefits of the grant have been fantastic: "A small volunteer organization simply wouldn’t have the capacity to work, at this level, without a full-time staff person."

As John explained, this person is working on a collaborative programming model with city officials to help shape future plans for the pool. This means that the city will maintain ownership of Sherbrook Pool and pay its operating costs, but the community members who kept the pool open, and prevented it from being demolished, will make sure it suits community needs.

Their goal is to make sure future Sherbrook Pool programs and services are grounded in local input and leadership, directly meeting the needs of low-income families, seniors, and people with different abilities. One great example is a program where local kids who graduate from Sherbrook Pool swimming lessons will be able to apply for training as lifeguards. This will help local children and their families overcome the heavy costs associated with lifeguard training.

If you have an idea for building our community, feel free to get in touch with me at Rob.Altemeyer@YourManitoba.ca or by calling 204-775-8575. I’d be happy to share more about Sherbrook Pool or anything else going on in the neighbourhood.