Guelph, Ont., August 22, 2019 – Centennial Pool has reached the end of its life cycle and is no longer financially sustainable.
“The facility is deteriorating and the capital investment required to continue to keep it operational and safe for our patrons and employees is becoming a challenge for the City,” says Heather Flaherty, general manager of Parks and Recreation.
City staff will ask Council at its September 3 Committee of the Whole meeting to approve a recommendation that would see the Centennial Pool license agreement with the Upper Grand District School Board come to an end on January 4, 2020.
Agreements between the City and school board have been in place since 1967 when the pool was constructed within Centennial Collegiate and Vocational Institute, located at 289 College Avenue West. The current five-year term, expires on March 31, 2021.
Under the license agreement, the City is responsible for operating the pool, including maintenance costs. However, a recent facility inventory and building condition assessment completed by the City and shared with the school board concludes that the continued use of the pool is not fiscally responsible and the agreement should be terminated early.
“The facility received a D rating, meaning that the facility and its components are not functioning as intended, significant deterioration and distress has been observed, and repairs and rehabilitation are required within the next year to restore functionality,” explains Flaherty.
It’s estimated it would cost $1.2 million to upgrade mechanical equipment and make necessary improvements to meet accessibility standards.
“The school board understands our financial position and supports our recommendation to terminate the license agreement one year early,” says Flaherty.
The Upper Grand District School Board’s approved 2019/2020 budget does not direct any funds toward the maintenance or renewal of Centennial Pool. It also doesn’t have the financial capacity to continue operating the pool into the future.
If the staff recommendation is approved, aquatic drop-in programs, swimming lessons, and aquatic rentals offered at Centennial Pool will move to West End Community Centre and Victoria Road Recreation Centre starting January 2020.
The 2020 operating budget allocated toward Centennial Pool will be partially reallocated to the West End Community Centre and Victoria Road Recreation Centre and any remaining operating dollars will be assessed by staff to see where they are needed. Capital funds forecasted for Centennial Pool will be redistributed and allocated to other life cycle projects within the Parks and Recreation department.
Heather Flaherty, General Manager
Parks and Recreation
City of Guelph
519-822-1260 extension 2264
Communications and Community Engagement Officer
Upper Grand District School Board
519-822-4420 extension 725